Credit Suisse CEO seeks further cost cuts at global market unit

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam said the bank is mulling further cost reductions, at a conference on Sept 27, 2016.
Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam said the bank is mulling further cost reductions, at a conference on Sept 27, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ZURICH (BLOOMBERG) - Credit Suisse Group  chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam said the bank is mulling further cost reductions at the global markets unit that blindsided him with losses earlier this year.

"Our cost reduction efforts are moving at pace," Mr Thiam said at a conference in London on Tuesday. "In global markets, having completed the right-sizing in terms of capital consumption, we're working" with Brian Chin, who runs the division, to identify further savings, he said.

Mr Thiam accelerated cuts to the trading unit in March after volatile markets prompted the company to write off US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) on risky securities and announce plans to eliminate 6,000 jobs this year. Mr Chin was promoted to replace Timothy O'Hara as head of global markets, the company's largest division, earlier this month.

The unit has returned to profitability and may post a second consecutive quarterly profit in the three months through September, Mr Thiam said.

Mr Thiam has announced two restructuring plans since taking over in July 2015, eliminating thousands of jobs and risky investments to shift away from securities trading. Losses at the global markets unit have undermined his efforts to boost profitability by focusing on Asia and wealth management.

Credit Suisse had eliminated some 4,800 positions by Sept. 27 as part of the 6,000 job cuts announced for this year.