Credit Suisse South Africa is set to close as part of a broader restructuring programme under CEO Tidjane Thiam, reported Reuters. The Swiss bank is to withdraw all presence from the country but continue to serve clients from Europe and Dubai.
Credit Suisse spokesman James Quinn was quoted as saying by the publication: “We announced earlier this year that we were reviewing our operations in Johannesburg, and subsequently took the decision to close the office.
“South Africa remains a focus for Credit Suisse, and we continue to serve clients across our wealth management and investment banking franchises.”
According to the report, the bank will continue to provide private banking services for affluent South Africans from London, Zurich and Dubai.
Currently, the bank’s Johannesburg branch, which is its only sub-Saharan African office, has a workforce of nearly 30.
Meanwhile, the bank’s research teams located in these cities will service blue chip South African firms, the report stated.
The latest move comes as the country faces the first recession since 2009. The country is also said to record the lowest level of mergers and acquisition activities in a decade.
The news comes less than a week after reports that UBS and HSBC were closing their representative offices in Nigeria.
A turbulent relationship
Credit Suisse departed South Africa in the 1980s following anti-apartheid campaigns.
It re-entered the market in 2006, by creating a brokerage dubbed Credit Suisse Standard Securities (CSSS) in joint venture (JV) with Johannesburg-based Standard Bank. The business focussed on equities research, sales, and trading.
However, the JV was dissolved after four years, with Standard Bank taking a 100% shareholding in CSSS and rebranding the venture to Standard Securities.
At the same time, Credit Suisse launched a wholly-owned integrated equities unit called Credit Suisse Johannesburg.