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Credit Suisse cuts 300 jobs in local units merger

Credit Suisse is to merge its retail and private banking arms in Switzerland from January, cutting 300 jobs at the Swiss bank to save 50 million Swiss francs (€42 million).

The restructuring is part of an extra 1 billion-franc cost-cutting campaign announced by Credit Suisse three weeks ago as it seeks to boost profits and strengthen its balance sheet.

The current head of Swiss retail operations, Christoph Brunner, will lead the streamlined unit, the bank said.

“I am convinced that we can fulfil our performance promise even more effectively with this move, ensure we are close to our clients, and ultimately secure and expand our market position,” global private banking head Hans-Ulrich Meister said in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.

Meister’s move will feed fears of a widening cull of Swiss bankers after domestic rival UBS said that 2,500 of an overall 10,000 job cuts will be made in Switzerland.

UBS is winding down its fixed income business and returning to its private banking roots.

Julius Baer is also expected to cut some jobs in Switzerland as part of an overall reduction of 1,000 jobs, as it seeks to rein in costs following its purchase of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s international wealth management business.

At Credit Suisse, Rolf Boegli, who is currently operating chief at the private bank, will lead a separate unit serving ultra-wealthy clients in Switzerland – typically those with more than $50 million (€39 million) in bankable assets – as well as asset managers.

The current head of private banking in Switzerland, Arthur Vayloyan, will leave Credit Suisse, the bank said. Vayloyan wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Credit Suisse is targeting four billion francs in cost savings by 2015, up from a goal of three billion francs it set in July and an earlier figure of two billion.

The bank, which is already cutting 3,500 staff or seven per cent of its workforce, said job losses would be inevitable to achieve the extra savings, but until now have not detailed how many more staff would go.

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