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SaltWire Today – Tuesday, August 8, 2023 | SaltWire
By Selena Li
HONG KONG (Reuters) -Around 80% of Hong Kong-based investment banking staff at Credit Suisse will be made redundant starting this week, two people with knowledge of the matter said, as part of the bank’s integration with UBS Group.
Only about 20 bankers will be spared the cuts that will impact Credit Suisse’s 100-strong investment banking team in the territory, the people said, declining to be identified as discussions on the matter were private.
Hong Kong accounts for Credit Suisse’s biggest share of investment bankers in Asia.
Credit Suisse and UBS declined to comment.
UBS closed a Swiss government-backed deal to buy its troubled peer in June after a series of soured deals sparked an exodus of clients. It has since said it would reduce risk in Credit Suisse’s investment banking operation.
UBS laid off employees from Credit Suisse’s investment bank in New York last week, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the situation. UBS has also decided to close Credit Suisse’s office in Houston, the source said.
Market participants expect UBS to provide more detail this month on its integration plans. Its targets and indications from insiders and analysts point to cuts amounting to about a third of the combined group’s global workforce.
Reuters reported in June that UBS was looking to retain over 100 Credit Suisse investment bankers across Asia to shore up talent in markets where the latter has a stronger presence.
Besides Hong Kong, other regional markets in which Credit Suisse has investment bankers include China, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, South Korea, Thailand and India. Its total investment banking headcount in the region was not immediately known.
As part of the integration, most Credit Suisse investment banking teams in Hong Kong will able to keep just one or two staff, though certain sector coverage teams will be removed entirely, the two people said.
Those retained will mostly work on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), they said.
Christian Deiss, head of Credit Suisse’s Asia-Pacific M&A business since 2021, is leading the regional investment banking transition in collaboration with UBS, the people said. Deiss did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Selena Li; Additional reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Christopher Cushing)