Credit Suisse Group, the second-largest investment bank in Switzerland, is moving the head of its financial institutions business to Hong Kong in the latest move of a senior banker to the region as the industry looks increasingly to Asia as a bulwark against its current woes. Vikram Gandhi would move from New York this summer, an internal memorandum said. He will continue to run the global financial institutions group business. 'While he will continue to oversee the business in the Americas and maintain key client relationships, [Mr Gandhi] will spend considerably more time in Asia and Europe going forward,' said Credit Suisse global heads of securities Jim Amine and Marc Granetz in the memorandum. The mainland has become high up in the regional plans of both Wall Street and Zurich as they restructure a business model in the United States and Europe shattered by the subprime mortgage meltdown that began last year. The banking industry has booked US$379 billion in asset write-downs and credit losses since the beginning of last year. Credit Suisse has written off US$9.5 billion so far, ranking 10th in the write-down list topped by UBS, Citi and Merrill Lynch. 'Hong Kong is the gateway to China, so they have to station there so they can have more access to China,' said Michael Tam, a research analyst at South China Research. 'In the future, the growth rate of Hong Kong, particularly the financial sector, will be stronger than the US or Europe - those are the mature markets and Hong Kong is still in the middle of the development stage.' Deutsche Bank, the largest investment bank in Germany, in March said it was moving its global head of equity trading, Noreddine Sebti, to Hong Kong from New York and Citi's Ted Kuh, a co-head of global retail business, recently arrived in Hong Kong from London. 'When you see the banks move out a [chief executive], that's the time you say it's a huge structural change, but they are trying to put senior people out there to take advantage of the growth and it will be interesting to see more senior-level appointments such as at the executive board level,' said David Williams, a London-based investment banking analyst at Fox-Pitt Kelton. Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the third-largest bank in Australia, plans to expand its dealing room staff to more than 70 in the coming year from about eight people now, according to Reuters.