Credit Suisse delivers blow to London staff

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 October, 2015, 1:12am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 October, 2015, 1:13am

Credit Suisse is looking at moving nearly 2,000 jobs out of London because of its high costs, the bank's new boss said on Wednesday, raising questions about the city's status as Europe's dominant financial centre.

Chief executive Tidjane Thiam estimated the Swiss-based bank could save 230 million Swiss francs a year if some back-office positions were moved to lower cost centres such as in Poland and India. This could mean a saving of 128,000 francs for each of the estimated 1,800 jobs in question.

Thiam, who swapped London for Zurich after six years at the helm of insurer Prudential, was speaking after the bank set out plans for a major overhaul, including measures to “right-size” staff numbers in London, where most of its investment bankers are based.

“We have 6,600 jobs (in London), 2,400 front office, 4,200 back office. Out of the 4,200, about 2,400 are directly connected to the front office, so they need to be co-located with the front office,” Thiam told reporters on Wednesday.

“The other 1,800 frankly don't need to be in London, and that's the potential we're looking at, plus a little bit of efficiency in the front office,” Thiam added.

London regained its crown as the world's leading financial centre in 2015, after losing it to New York in 2014, according to research company Z/Yen, while jobs in London's financial and related professional services industry reached a high of 729,600 as of June, a survey by lobby group TheCityUK said.