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Credit Suisse CEO flags start of work on 2018-2020 plan
July 17, 2017 / 3:22 PM / 2 months ago

Credit Suisse CEO flags start of work on 2018-2020 plan

ZURICH, July 17 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse begins work this month on planning for its strategic priorities beyond the Swiss bank’s current set of targets, Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said in a memo to staff.

Credit Suisse aims to achieve its current capital, cost and pre-tax income targets by 2018 but Thiam told staff preparation will start in July on its 2018-2020 plan.

Thiam, who took over as CEO just over two years ago, sent the memo after a two-day annual strategy break at the end of June attended by the board of directors and executive board.

“Looking beyond 2018, we agreed there would continue to be significant value creation opportunities available to a restructured Credit Suisse, and that would translate into a growing valuation of Credit Suisse as we continue to allocate more capital towards businesses that will generate higher returns and are more capital efficient,” Thiam said in the memo which was sent to staff on Friday and seen by Reuters on Monday.

“Over time, this will increase the size and proportion of our capital allocated to businesses which attract a higher market multiple, driving our valuation higher.”

Credit Suisse confirmed the memo, which was reported earlier by Bloomberg.

Thiam said the board normally holds the strategy away day at the end of August but this year decided to hold it earlier “so that its conclusions could inform the preparation of the 2018-2020 plan, which kicks off in July”.

Since joining from UK insurer Prudential in mid-2015, Thiam has refocused Credit Suisse away from investment banking, and looked to make wealth management and private banking its core business.

He has also cut costs by several billion dollars and raised around 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.4 billion) in fresh capital.

“With the progress achieved to date, we believe we are on track to deliver on our strategic ambitions,” Thiam said.

Since Thiam laid out his strategy blue-print in October 2015, Credit Suisse’s share price is down by around a third with the bank posting a 2.7 billion franc loss last year.

For the first quarter of 2017 Credit Suisse reported net profit of 596 million francs, its highest quarterly profit since the restructuring.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank after UBS, reports second-quarter results on July 28.

($1 = 0.9613 Swiss francs)

Editing by Susan Thomas

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