The restructuring programme in the country is expected to help Credit Suisse generate gross cost savings of nearly CHF100m ($109.92m) per annum from 2022 onwards

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Image: Credit Suisse headquarters in Zürich (Credit: Roland zh/Wikipedia.org)

Credit Suisse expects to close 37 branches in Switzerland, leaving nearly 500 jobs at risk, as part of a series of steps it will implement for optimising its business in the country.

The bank said that the restructuring in Switzerland will be taken up for growing its retail business with private clients and also to streamline and improve the efficiency of the operations.

The restructuring programme in the country is expected to generate gross cost savings of nearly CHF100m ($109.92m) per annum from 2022 onwards, said the banking major.

According to the Swiss banking group, the measures are being brought about due to the changes in the behaviour of customers who are now mainly looking to carry out their banking online and through telephone support. The bank said that the changes it wants to bring are also for focussing on clients with more complex advisory requirements and need individual advice.

The banking group said that its regional subsidiary Neue Aargauer Bank (NAB) will be merged with that of its main business in order to have a uniform presence with a single brand in the Aargau Canton. Currently, Neue Aargauer Bank and Credit Suisse have a total of 30 branches in the Swiss canton which will be reduced to 12 following the merger.

Across Switzerland, including the Aargau Canton, Credit Suisse aims to trim down its branch count of 146 to 109. The changes are expected to be brought into effect by the end of this year, said the banking group.

It revealed that the job cuts will be carried out at its Swiss universal bank division and at Neue Aargauer Bank.

Besides reducing its branch footprint in Switzertland, the banking major will make certain organisational changes, and also roll out a new digital offering and a future-oriented branch concept.

Credit Suisse (Schweiz) CEO comments on the restructuring programme

Credit Suisse (Schweiz) CEO and Swiss Universal Bank CEO André Helfenstein said: “Digitalization is happening all around us and will continue to advance rapidly. As a leading universal bank, we ensure that we continuously adapt our offering to the evolving needs of our clients and deploy our resources in those areas with opportunities to generate profitable growth.

“The changes we are making to our branch network – while simultaneously investing in digital solutions and in advisory services for clients with more complex needs – represent a logical step forward.”

In July, the Swiss banking group reported a 24% surge in its net income attributable to shareholders for 2Q20 at CHF1.16bn ($1.28bn) compared to CHF937m ($1bn) made in the same quarter in the year before.