Swiss bank Credit Suisse has fleshed out expansion plans in the lucrative Asia-Pacific region by announcing it may double its workforce in the area.
Chief executive Oswald Grübel said the bank intends to create 2,000-4,000 jobs in backroom operations, investment banking, asset management and private banking in the next two years.
Switzerland's second-largest bank has made no secret of its plans to expand in the region that is creating millionaires at a faster rate than Europe and north America thanks to its rapidly expanding economies.
In 2004, the bank created a back office support hub in Singapore to complement similar entities in New York and London. Earlier this year the bank created 900 further outsourced jobs in Singapore.
"The demand for financial services is growing across Asia and banks are part of that story," Grübel told the Financial Times on Monday as he revealed details of further expansion.
Credit Suisse declined to say exactly how many new positions would be created in the region and refused to comment on the distribution of these posts.
But the group will be looking to attract new wealth managers after the recent departure of several Asia-based private bankers, according to Andreas Venditti, an analyst at Zurich Cantonal Bank.
"Competition in Asia is very high because everyone is trying to grow and there is not a great supply of experienced advisors in the region. Costs in this area have risen dramatically in the last few years," Venditti told swissinfo.
Credit Suisse rival UBS has also been busy in Asia-Pacific and recently vowed to increase the proportion of its total business from seven per cent to 12 per cent in the region in the next three years.
It announced in July that a deal to become the first foreign financial institution to buy into a Chinese investment company (Beijing Securities) was near to completion.
But Venditti does not think Credit Suisse lags far behind its bigger rival.
"It is not a case of playing catch-up," he said. "There are a few big players in the region and Credit Suisse is definitely one of them."
swissinfo with agencies
According to the 2006 Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report, the number of millionaires in the Asia-Pacific region jumped 7.3% in 2005 from the previous year.
This compares to an 11.7% rise in Africa, 9.8% in the Middle East, 9.7% in Latin America, 6.9% in North America and 4.5% in Europe.
The total assets of this High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI) group totalled $33.3 trillion (SFr41 trillion) last year.
Asia-Pacific handled 23% of these funds compared to 22% managed by Europe.
Results for first half of 2006
Net revenues: SFr19.713 billion
Net income: SFr4.762 billion
Net new assets: SFr57.5 billion
Basic earnings per share: SFr4.25
Number of employees at end of June: 63,040