More Credit Suisse resources for Asia-Pac

A revamped strategy at Credit Suisse that includes a big pivot towards Asia will empower the bank to serve clients in the region more efficiently, said Mr Helman Sitohang, the Swiss bank's Asia-Pacific chief executive officer.

In fact, Credit Suisse Asia-Pacific is in a plum position. While the bank is slashing costs and jobs in the United States, Britain and Switzerland, it is pumping in more capital and resources into this region.

Global CEO Tidjane Thiam last week announced a major overhaul that sees the bank's businesses split into three geographic divisions - Swiss universal bank, Asia-Pacific, and international wealth management - and two investment banking divisions: global markets and investment banking & capital markets.

The fact that the region stands as a business division of its own - the only geographical market to have that status besides the bank's home base - is a clear sign of how important the Asia-Pacific is to Credit Suisse's growth, said Mr Sitohang.

"The whole intention is to bring decision-making and execution as close as possible to client delivery and that's actually very powerful."

As part of the new strategy, Credit Suisse will invest more into the Asia-Pacific, and has set a target to double pre-tax income and client assets under management in the region by the end of 2018.

Mr Sitohang, who was also named to the Credit Suisse executive board, added: "Clients know that if their bank is more locally empowered, then it means they can make decisions faster and there's less back and forth. At the same time, we still offer the same global connectivity as before that they can still benefit from."

Mr Sitohang noted that despite the overhaul, there will be no major changes in Credit Suisse's strategy within the region itself. "Our CEO made it quite clear that he believes in the strategy we have been delivering so far. We will continue to implement it, in some cases at a faster pace and on a larger scale."

And while Mr Thiam has announced job and cost cuts elsewhere, Mr Sitohang stressed that those will not apply to the Asia-Pacific. "Headcount will definitely increase. It should be decent growth."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2015, with the headline 'More Credit Suisse resources for Asia-Pac'. Subscribe