Credit Suisse results impress despite damaging spy scandal

Thiam says the bank is well positioned to achieve future profitable growth. Keystone/ennio Leanza

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam has reiterated that he had nothing to do with the spying scandal that recently rocked the bank. Thiam insisted that the debacle has not damaged business as the bank presented better than expected third quarter results.

The bank doubled profits for the period to CHF881 million ($886 million) compared to Q3 2018. Its International Wealth Management division, which used to be run by Iqbal Khan who was at the centre of the spygate row, saw pre-tax income rise 43% to CHF539 million.

Wealth management returns were, however, boosted by the recent CHF131 million sale of its InvestLab fund.

Thiam announced himself satisfied with the financial results that follow a highly damaging scandal involving surveillance of Khan after he acrimoniously left the bank. The spygate affair was blamed on a single executive who stepped down from the bank earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Thiam again insisted that he had known nothing of the “inappropriate and disproportionate” surveillance of Khan. Speaking to Swiss public broadcaster SRF, he said that business was normal despite the reputational fall-out.

“Our client advisors had discussions with many clients about the affair, because they had questions about it. But all our client advisors stressed that it had no negative impact on their banking business,” he said.

“The corporate culture of a bank must not be assessed on the basis of such an isolated individual case,” he added.

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