Credit Suisse postpones 10%-12% return on tangible equity ambition

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at a branch office in Bern, Switzerland October 28, 2020. 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse on Tuesday reiterated its key financial ambition for a 10%-12% return on tangible equity in the medium term but avoided re-committing to the 10% goal previously set for this year.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank also laid out plans to boost growth in wealth management, aiming to grow wealth-related pre-tax profit to 5.0 – 5.5 billion Swiss francs ($5.64- $6.20 billion) by 2023 or approximately 10% annually, as well as investment banking.

It said it expected to turn around its asset management business in 2021 by focusing more on alternative and private market offerings, and those related to sustainable investing.

“Today, we are outlining … broad-based investment initiatives to accelerate growth in our Wealth Management-related businesses and our Investment Bank,” Thomas Gottstein said in remarks prepared for his first investor outlook presentation as CEO.

“We continue to believe wealth management is one of the most attractive segments in financial services, notably in Asia Pacific, and we also expect to further expand the connectivity between our Investment Bank and the Wealth Management-related divisions. Together, these initiatives should allow us to deliver on our medium-term ambition of a (return on tangible equity) of 10% to 12% in a normalized environment.”

The bank last year set an ambition for a return on tangible equity (RoTE) ambition of approximately 10% for 2020, with an aim to reach an RoTE above 12% in the medium term.

Its RoTE for the first nine months stood at 9.8%, despite a steeper-than-expected slide in third-quarter profit, as a surge in investment banking failed to offset a slowdown in wealth management.

Impairments and legal provisions totaling nearly $900 million earmarked for the fourth quarter – one on a hedge fund equity stake, and another on a 2008 financial crisis legacy case announced on Tuesday – are expected to impact full-year results.

($1 = 0.8868 Swiss francs)

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