Credit Suisse is planning to review lending to billionaire customers at its international wealth management arm under new CEO Thomas Gottstein amid the Covid-19 crisis that has upended markets.
The bank’s focus in this initiative will mainly be loans backed by hard-to-sell assets, reported Bloomberg.
According to people familiar with the issue, the bank’s management will also review its risk appetite for lending to customers with exposure to the oil, gas and shipping industries at the unit.
All these industries have been hit hard by the pandemic.
In Q1 2020, Credit Suisse showed resilience despite the Covid-19 global health crisis.
The bank reported pre-tax income of CHF1.2bn ($1.24bn) for the three-month period ending March 2020, up 13% from the previous year.
However, bad loan provisions at the banking group soared.
The international wealth management constituted around $40m of the provisions, which is a four-fold rise from the previous year figure.
Revenue at the division increased 6% year-on-year to CHF1.5bn ($1.55bn).
A bank spokeswoman stated: “Credit Suisse follows a sustainable and profitable growth strategy for its International Wealth Management business.
“To achieve this, we continually review our business model and set up with a long-term view to reflect where we see potential for growth and opportunities to offer unique solutions to clients.”
Meanwhile, Gottstein believes that key profit targets and capital levels will be under pressure this year.
Previous wealth head Iqbal Khan adopted the approach of an aggressive expansion of loans to wealthy clients.
Khan defected to rival UBS amid a spying scandal.
He is now reportedly looking to establish a new team to boost lending to wealthy customers at UBS.
Remi Mennesson, who led the strategic transactions group within Credit Suisse’s international wealth unit, will join Khan at UBS in November.