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Credit Suisse chairman on the offensive

The chairman of the board of Swiss bank Credit Suisse has rejected calls to separate the investment branch from the rest of the banking group.

In an interview to be published on Friday in Swiss magazine Bilanz, Urs Rhoner said it would be a “false solution” to separate or discontinue the bank’s investment banking activities.

In the wake of the UBS rogue trader scandal, some Swiss politicians have called on UBS and Credit Suisse to close their investment banking divisions, or to separate them from the banks’ other activities.

“We cannot conduct business in global wealth management of this size without having an investment bank and operating on the capital markets,” Rhoner said.

Rohner said investment banking was not only limited to proprietary trading and clients in emerging markets demanded expertise in capital markets.

He said the global economic downturn had forced the bank to review all of its services, and defended the withdrawal asset management for offshore US clients saying the bank had a policy of “zero tolerance”.

“We have systematically introduced stricter cross-border rules than others. We have even lost employees because of our strict position,” Rohner said.

US tax investigators have demanded Credit Suisse hand over the banking data of US citizens suspected of tax evasion.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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