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Credit Suisse expands its Asian private banking

Swiss bank Credit Suisse has announced its planned purchase of HSBC’s private banking business in Japan.

HSBC said the gross assets of the business being sold were worth $2.7 billion (SFr2.5 billion) at the end of October, but it gave no sale price.

The sale still needs to be approved by competition authorities but is due to take place in mid-2012, HSBC said.

The business covers clients who hold more than 200 million yen (SFr2.4 million) in financial assets.

Credit Suisse said it plans to expand client coverage through integrating new offices in Nagoya and Osaka in western Japan and aims to boost profitability.

The move will raise Credit Suisse’s profile in what is the world’s second-largest market for millionaires. Japan is the single largest market for high net worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for 52.5 per cent of the region’s millionaires.

“Since we began our onshore private banking business in 2009, progress has exceeded expectations, and we are looking forward to building on this success with this acquisition,” said Junya Tani, head of private banking for Credit Suisse in Japan.

The sale is part of a strategy outlined by HSBC in May involving cutting annual costs by $3.5 billion and sharpening the bank’s focus on Asia by quitting countries or businesses where it lacks scale.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR