CREDIT SUISSE CEO: 'The banks that will win are the banks that are good at equities'


Tidjane Thiam


Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam


Credit Suisse's CEO, Tidjane Thiam, has outlined what he sees as the future of banking.

It's about hooking up Asian billionaires to the global share markets.

"The banks that will win are the banks that are good at equities," Thiam told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. "For billionaires it's absolutely key, if they do an IPO or an equities trade."

His point is that there's a boom in big companies and rich entrepreneurs coming out of Asia right now who are more interested in stock markets than bond markets when it comes to raising money and investing.


"Chinese companies are going to have to go abroad" to invest or raise money, said Thiam. "We're very well placed to do that."

China's government has promised billions of dollars of stimulus to keep the markets afloat, but that's only after two sharp drops this year wiped out retail investors. The global share markets might be a better than the domestic markets for wealthy Chinese looking to preserve their capital.

Thiam has a long history of seeing Asia as a driver of business growth. As CEO of Prudential, he led a failed bid for AIG's Asian business in 2010.

Thiam, who replaced former CEO Brady Dougan earlier this year, is seeking to trim costs and focus Credit Suisse's business on more profitable areas. He shut down the bank's macro trading business - which includes currencies and interest rate swaps - and hinted at why in his Bloomberg interview.

"Currencies are the most difficult instrument to trade," Thiam said in response to a question on where he sees the dollar going. "Long term predictions in terms of currency are very difficult to make."


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