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Banking

Tidjane Thiam leaves Credit Suisse poised for growth

New CEO Thomas Gottstein will change neither the strategy nor the structure at Credit Suisse, but rather focus on growth in every division.

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Outgoing CEO Tidjane Thiam at the annual news conference in Zurich on Thursday, to present Credit Suisse's results for 2019



Credit Suisse on Thursday reported operational pre-tax income of SFr4.3 billion for 2019 after stripping out exceptional reported items. That is 18% up on the SFr3.6 billion in 2018.

In the first full year after completion of the three-year restructuring implemented by departing chief executive Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse has returned to growth.

It is down to his strategic vision and leadership that a bank that lost SFr2.7 billion in 2016, then lost SFr983 million in 2017, provided SFr2.02 bilion of profit attributable to shareholders in 2018 and gave those shareholders SFr3.4 billion in 2019.

Return on tangible equity (RoTE) has gone from negative -7% in 2016 up to 9% last year. The remaining management team is confident of hitting its 10% RoTE target for 2020, which Thiam, presenting his 19th and final set of quarterly results, says has got off to a flying start.

“It’s going to be a great first quarter,” Thiam says, putting just a little pressure on his successor. “We are reaching the point where running the bank will be more exciting.”




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