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Credit Suisse Exits Some Private Banking Markets to Cut Costs

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, plans to stop providing wealth management services to clients domiciled in some countries to boost profitability and focus on growth markets.

“This initiative affects a number of countries, which are either very small or where we have a small number of clients,” said Marc Dosch, a spokesman at Credit Suisse in Zurich. “Our market review considered overall cost of doing business, including regulatory and operational aspects.”

Credit Suisse has said that leaving “small non-core markets,” unit sales and streamlining the Swiss client business will help cut annual costs by about 150 million francs ($165 million) in the second half of 2013. The bank may be looking to end relationships or scale-back business with clients from about 50 countries, Tages-Anzeiger reported today.

Dosch declined to disclose the number of countries affected or identify any of them.

“This initiative will strengthen our focus and will allow us to dedicate resources to growth markets and strategic client segments,” he said.

Credit Suisse may stop doing business with clients from countries including Congo, Angola, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus because of reputational risks, Tages-Anzeiger reported, without saying where it got the information. In other countries, such as Denmark and Israel, the lender may focus on clients who have at least 1 million francs in assets, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elena Logutenkova in Zurich at elogutenkova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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