Credit Suisse Group AG expects fewer staff in post-COVID adjustment as it faces the prospect of slower growth and imminent credit defaults.
Online banking is becoming more imperative and will lead to a rise in the importance and number of branches, CEO Thomas Gottstein said in an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ.
“Medium-term, we will certainly be able to get by with fewer staff - primarily, as we continue to automate business,” Gottstein said in the interview, published on Saturday. “Many processes can still be streamlined. That is one of my priorities. But we also want to grow, especially in our business with very wealthy clients and in our Asian business.”
Credit Suisse could streamline
Credit Suisse is likely to need less office space as the staff could work remotely for 10% to 20% of their time. The bank will benefit from a reduction in travel as video conferencing becomes the new normal.
We might see fewer Credit Suisse branches operate in the near future, as online banking gets a boost in a post-COVID world.
“As universal banks, we can learn a great deal from (digital providers such as Revolut and N26), especially when it comes to offering customers services via digital channels in the simplest, quickest and most convenient way possible,” Gottstein said. “In the coming months, we will respond to these new competitors with various offerings.”
Gottstein believes the bank’s losses are correctly positioned from a strategic point of view. This comes after the bank’s return on tangible equity in Q1 2020 exceeded its full-year target.
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