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Credit Suisse: Thiam sticks to the task

Bullish chief executive is still struggling to convince the markets that his plan will work in the long term

Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam may be a man who is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, but he’s smart enough to know that you need cold hard facts to prove that you are doing your job successfully.

So when, in the third quarter of 2018, he announced the latest set of improving results for the Swiss-based bank, he was delighted to be able to tell his audience that of his 17 strategic objectives, a remarkable 16 were very much on course.

The highlights reel was impressive. For the first nine months of the year, pre-tax income was up more than 50% year on year. Profitability in the core wealth management business had risen 60% compared with 2015. The third quarter was Credit Suisse’s 10th consecutive profitable quarter and the eighth consecutive quarter of year-on-year profit increase. Cost reductions were ahead of schedule, with the bank also set to benefit from buying back contingent capital bonds costing it around SFr700 million ($706 million) a year in interest.

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