Credit Suisse scales back ex­pan­sion plans for Ire­land

Irish Independent - - Business - Gretchen Frie­mann

CREDIT Suisse has scaled back its ex­pan­sion plans in Ire­land as the bank fo­cuses more of its re­sources on its chief Brexit lo­ca­tions of Madrid and Frank­furt.

Hav­ing suf­fered a string of high-level de­par­tures from its Ir­ish arm re­cently the bank has been with­out a lo­cal coun­try head in Dublin for six months.

How­ever, the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent un­der­stands it has now signed up a re­place­ment to Man­ish Vekaria, who coled the in­vest­ment bank’s Eu­ro­pean prime bro­ker­age oper­a­tions and acted as CEO of the Dublin branch.

Mr Vekaria quit his post in De­cem­ber last year, leav­ing Jeff Jen­nings, the Lon­don-based head of Eu­ro­pean prime ser­vices, to shoul­der the ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Sources say Credit Suisse will un­veil the new hire within the next few weeks.

The bank also lost its chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer in Dublin, along with a hand­ful of other top-tier ex­ec­u­tives. The de­par­tures come in the wake of Credit Suisse’s cur­tailed ex­pan­sion strat­egy for Ire­land, which in­cluded con­sid­er­ing both the es­tab­lish­ment of a sub­sidiary unit, and the ap­pli­ca­tion for a full bank­ing li­cence.

Sources fa­mil­iar with the lender’s lo­cal oper­a­tions said man­age­ment had en­vis­aged beef­ing up staff num­bers to over 300 and in­tended to put more busi­ness lines into Dublin, in­clud­ing some fixed in­come and fin­tech oper­a­tions - which may have at­tracted R&D grants from the Gov­ern­ment.

It is un­der­stood Credit Suisse ul­ti­mately re­jected the pro­pos­als partly due to the greater reg­u­la­tory bur­den such a move would en­tail. Oth­ers ar­gue the plans also fell vic­tim to a 2016 re­struc­tur­ing ef­fort, from CEO Tid­jane Thiam, in­tended to re­turn the bank to prof­itabil­ity.

Credit Suisse is now un­likely to rad­i­cally up­scale its oper­a­tions here. The bank also in­tends to shift the bulk of its Brexit-related jobs to Ger­many and Spain.

Mr Jen­nings said Credit Suisse’s plan for “our Ir­ish hub re­mains un­changed, and we re­main com­mit­ted to our pres­ence here.” He said the bank is re­cruit­ing “per­ma­nent Dublin-based can­di­dates for the coun­try head and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer roles” and con­tin­ues to in­ves­ti­gate a multi-lo­ca­tion so­lu­tion in the event of a hard Brexit.

Credit Suisse CEO Tid­jane Thiam

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