Credit Suisse boss casts doubt on IPO plans

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Credit Suisse will “examine a broad range of options” for the future of its Swiss bank and may find one which is “more attractive” for shareholders than the planned listing of 25 per cent of the business, group chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam said on Tuesday.

On a conference call with analysts, Mr Thiam said the listing of the Swiss operations, which would raise about SFr5bn, was conceived at a time when the range of Credit Suisse’s capital needs was “uncomfortably wide” in October 2015.

“We have had a number of additional positive developments in the last twelve months regarding our capital,” he said, listing as examples the settlement of a $5.3bn case with the US Department of Justice and the bank’s improved capital ratio.

“All in all this means that we are now in a more comfortable position from which to asses our capital options going forward,” he said. “The IPO has provided an effective capital backstop during a period of peak restructuring in 2016. We want to preserve this optionality given the uncertainty geopolitical environment in which we currently operate so we will continue as planned our preparations towards an IPO in the second half of 2017.

“That said, we will also continue to analyse the evolution of our regulatory environment which is key in this and as we always do continuously examine a broad range of options to determine if there are ways to reach a more attractive risk reward outcome for our shareholders.”

The FT reported on Monday that there was growing unease among some Credit Suisse board members over the selling of the group’s “crown jewel”.

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