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Swiss central bank sees onus on Credit Suisse to execute revamp

ZURICH, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) needs to execute its revamp successfully and end a string of negative headlines from Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said in an interview aired on Saturday.

Credit Suisse in October announced a plan to raise capital, slash its workforce and focus even more on its flagship wealth management franchise while scaling back volatile investment banking after a string of losses and risk-management failures.

It said this month the turnaround was well under way after completing a 4 billion Swiss franc ($4.3 billion) capital hike.

“It is clear that such a reorganisation of the bank, the reorientation of the business model, is not something that can be done overnight. It takes time, it is a big challenge for the management and employees of Credit Suisse,” Jordan told Swiss broadcaster SRF in an interview.

He reiterated that the successful capital increase was a “milestone” in the bank’s revamp that reduced risk and was positive for the stability of the Swiss financial sector.

Asked if he was sleeping more easily, he said:

“Of course we know that Credit Suisse is in an important transformation process, it is not something that can happen by itself, it requires the full concentration of the management of Credit Suisse, but it is important that they now consistently implement the announced strategy and that it goes in the right direction.”

On other subjects, Jordan played down prospects that the SNB would make payouts to federal and regional governments next year.

The SNB (SNBN.S) lost 142.2 billion Swiss francs in the first nine months of 2022 as rising interest rates and the stronger Swiss franc slashed the value of foreign investments.

“It almost has to be a miracle” for payouts to take place, Jordan said. “The development we have in the fourth quarter does not indicate that the probability is enormous. A lot can still happen but we have to be realistic.”

($1 = 0.9335 Swiss francs)

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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