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Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Credit Suisse Home Page

As one of the biggest banks in the world, Credit Suisse enjoys massive market share and is known for keeping client anonymity a priority. What many don’t know is that the bank is also still a retail bank and requires clients from all walks of life to keep the ball rolling. The bank is also on Basel’s doorstep, which means that proper provision is a key focus for the bank.

That being said, the bank is under pressure to boost its profit margins and job cutting is happening by the thousands. Experts say that these measures are a little extreme and may cost the bank more in the long run. Furthermore, it doesn’t do much to keep the reputation high either. Will Credit Suisse score high during a review under this much pressure?

Discover how this bank compares to National Australia Bank.

History of Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Founder of Credit Suisse in Credit Suisse History

With a founder such as Alfred Escher, there was no way that Credit Suisse would be a small and obscure bank. Mr. Escher was known for his complete devotion to uplifting the economy and his role in the modernization of Switzerland cannot be ignored. The bank started off with a starting capital of just under 3 million francs and thanks to investor confidence, the value of the subscriptions totaled 218 million francs in just 3 days.

An influx of wealth allowed the bank to fund operations such as railways and industrialization early on. Furthermore, the basis of the founding of the bank was just for this purpose. Since the founding of Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA), the forerunner of Credit Suisse, in 1856, the bank experienced phenomenal growth.

By the 1870’s, the bank was already looking for offices abroad. The first representative office opened its doors in New York. After only a few years, the main operations of SKA moved into the new building on Paradeplatz. Before the turn of the 19th century, the bank was already well underway in the life business. Underwriting and pension schemes became part of the daily operations.

The 1900's 

The first fully-fledged branch outside of Zurich was opened in Basel in 1905. Shortly thereafter, the Paris office was opened to act as a record-keeping facility for the international clients.

In the 1930s, the forerunners for Credit Suisse managed to set up their operations. Furthermore, it was only a few years later that an office was opened in New York. By the 60s, Credit Suisse was taking over some of the American stakes in Swiss banks. It wasn’t until 1964, however, that Credit Suisse was granted a license as a full-service bank. This opened many doors for the Swiss bank and further growth was a given.

The Chiasso affair in 1977 prompted the bank to realign its core purpose. With this in mind, the bank started focusing on its ability to provide international financial services. Furthermore, it started to move away from its historical role as merely just a traditional Zurich institution.

Modern Banking

The 80s proved to be a bit better for the banking giant, as one of its subsidiaries, Swiss American Securities Inc. (SASI) was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This was a first for Swiss Banks. American and Swiss bank domination continued well into the 90s, with the acquisition of First Boston Inc. by CS Holding, Bank Leu, Neue Aargauer Bank, and Volksbank. There was also the strategic alliances with Swiss Re and Winterthur.

The new millennium also brought some changes for the bank, and in 2002 the bank was streamlined into two business units. These units were Credit Suisse Financial Services and Credit Suisse First Boston. This changed to three units in 2004, which were known as Credit Suisse, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Winterthur. In 2005, the One Bank strategy was implemented which left those in the financial industry divided on whether it was a good move or not. The Winterthur portion is sold in 2006 as the bank wishes to focus on its global integration.

2008 is known as the equalizer for the big banks, and although Credit Suisse took a major hit, it didn’t require a government bailout. In 2010, the bank forms part of an initiative that puts stricter requirements on financial houses. This paves the way for tougher capital and liquidity provisions.

2014 was a tough financial year for the bank, as it settled all the requirements with the US on cross-border matters. Currently, the bank faces tough financial times as it minimized some of the areas that provide massive income streams for its competitors. The bank was also forced to let thousands of staff members go due to losses. What the future holds for Credit Suisse remains to be seen. Credit Suisse is, after all, one of the banks that believe there is no such thing as a bank that is too big to fail.

Access to Credit Suisse

Online Banking

Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Online Login Options Credit Suisse

Access to online banking is fairly simple and customers are able to perform many of their transactions through this portal. Furthermore, the online capabilities stretch beyond merely just account servicing. Any of the products can also be applied for online.

Branches

Walk-in serviceability takes place in branches located in over 50 countries. The bank still takes are of traditional banking, however, a strong focus is placed on online banking. Furthermore, the bank prides itself in being the founders of Swiss modernization, therefore, embraces change effectively. Branches are located in these locations:

Americas
  • Bahamas (Nassau), Brazil (Sao Paolo), Canada (Calgary, Toronto), and Chile (Santiago)
  • Mexico (Mexico City) and USA (Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Raleigh, and San Francisco)
Asia Pacific
  • Australia (Melbourne, Sydney), China (Beijing, Shanghai), and Hong Kong
  • India (Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune), Indonesia (Jakarta), and Japan (Tokyo)
  • Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Philippines (Manila), Singapore, and South Korea (Seoul)
  • Taiwan (Taipei) and Thailand (Bangkok)
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
  • Austria (Vienna), Bahrain (Manama), Egypt (Cairo), and France (Paris)
  • Germany (Frankfurt), Channel Islands (Guernsey), Ireland (Dublin), and Italy (Milan)
  • Liechtenstein (Vaduz), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), and Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  • Netherlands (Amsterdam), Portugal (Lisbon), Poland (Warsaw, Wroclaw), and Qatar (Doha)
  • Russian Federation (Moscow), Saudi Arabia (Riyadh), and South Africa (Johannesburg)
  • Spain (Madrid), Turkey (Istanbul), United Arab Emirates (Dubai), and United Kingdom (London)
Switzerland
  • Genève, Mittelland, Nordschweiz, and Ostschweiz
  • Suisse Romande, Ticino, Zentralschweiz, and Zürich

Credit Suisse Personal Banking Product Offerings

Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Personal Banking Home Page Credit Suisse

Current Accounts

Private Account

This is a basic account for private individuals. Furthermore, it is the ideal tool to manage personal finances. It also accommodates any form of regular income.

Current Account

With this account, customers can carry out personal payment transactions. These can take place in Swiss francs and foreign currencies.

Savings Account

Savings Account

This account is an additional account to the private. Furthermore, it offers attractive interest rates. Also, this account is free of charge.

Interest Growth Savings Account

Customers who wish to save for a continuous and long-term, will find this account to hit the mark. Furthermore, the account provides an interest bonus.

Rental Deposit Savings Account

This account is suitable for those who require a rental deposit as collateral. Furthermore, the deposit will earn an attractive interest rate.

Savings Account for Young People

Children will have a good start to life with this account. Furthermore, it allows young people to learn how to manage their money, as well as receive preferential terms and conditions.

Gift Savings Account

This account creates the opportunity to save for a child or godchild. It is also the perfect gift, as it increases in value.

Packages

Bonviva Banking Packages

This package allows customers to group all their accounts and benefit from reduced fees and attractive interest rates. Furthermore, customers will enjoy a host of other benefits such as certain free transactions, rewards, and more.

Viva Banking Packages

The ideal package for students and young people who wish to expose themselves to the world of banking. This account also provides banking freedom. Furthermore, the package includes a private account and savings account at preferential rates. It also includes a Maestro card and certain free transactions.

Credit Cards

A healthy credit card range is offered by National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Credit Card Home Page Credit Suisse

American Express Platinum Card

This card offers more than just a credit facility, as there is also a prestigious membership attached.

  • Customers enjoy a priority pass and concierge service.
  • Furthermore, the travel service is provided with no booking fee
  • Also, customers have access to leading insurance packages.

American Express Gold Card

This card is a suitable companion for those who wish to use it for business and leisure. Furthermore, customers have access to dedicated travel service and a broad insurance package. Also, customers also enjoy access to the membership program.

Credit Suisse World MasterCard Standard

Customers to make use of this card will always have a practical means of payment.

Credit Suisse MasterCard Gold

This credit card provides more financial freedom worldwide.

Credit Suisse World MasterCard Gold EUR/USD

Customers who travel frequently to countries that use Euro and USD, will find this card to be a great companion. There is no risk of exchange rate fluctuations on purchases and cash withdrawals.

Credit Suisse Viva MasterCard Standard CHF

Customers who have the Viva Student Banking Package will have access to this credit card. Furthermore, the annual card fee for the card is included in the Viva Banking Package.

Credit Suisse Visa Classic

This card allows customers to always have a practical means of payment.

Credit Suisse Visa Gold

Customers will have more financial freedom worldwide with this card.

Travel Cash

The Travel Cash card is a safe solution for those who wish to make use of travelers cheques. Furthermore, the security on the card is ramped up thanks to a pin. Also, apart from drawing cash, the card an be used to make payments as well. Finally, this card provides the same security as Swiss Bankers Travelers Cheques as there is worldwide replacement, free of charge.

Prepaid Cards

The card can be used the same as a credit card would, the only difference is that the customer pays money into the card prior to use. This is a safer alternative to carrying cash.

  • Credit Suisse Prepaid Card
  • Viva Prepaid Card

Financial Planning and Pension Provision

Credit Suisse is known to provide some of the most comprehensive insurance solutions on the planet. Furthermore, the bespoke product solutions allow customers to rest assured that they have the right cover. Customers have access to professionals who can assist them with financial consulting, tax consulting, inheritance consulting, vested benefits, and private pension.

Mortgages

Discover whether the mortgage range offered by Deutsche Bank rivals this one.

Fix Mortgage

Although finding the right property is already a good start to living in a dream home, the finance portion also needs to be ideal.

  • The fix mortgage has a fixed term for a fixed amount, and also has a fixed mortgage interest rate.
  • Furthermore, customers also have the option of direct or indirect amortization.
  • This option allows customers to budget their finance for the entire term.
  • Also, customers who are afraid of interest rate hikes are protected with this type of mortgage.
  • Finally, the term is between 2 and 15 years.

Forward Fix Mortgage

With this option, customers can lock in today’s attractive interest rates for a mortgage later on. Furthermore, this option can be on an existing mortgage as an extension, or a whole new mortgage entirely.

  • Today’s mortgage interest rate can be locked for up to two or even three years.
  • Also, the mortgage will be fixed term, fixed amount, and fixed mortgage interest rate.
  • Finally, this allows customers to take advantage of low rates should they expect this to increase in future.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage

This type of mortgage has flexible terms and amounts. Furthermore, the instalments rely on the interest rates at that time. Also, customers have the option of direct or indirect repayment.

Flex Rollover Mortgage

The customer has the option to determine the overall term and define the periods after which the mortgage interest rate is reset. Furthermore, the mortgage rate is linked to LIBOR. Finally, the interval of a tranche can be changed at the end of each tranche term selected.

Construction Loan

This loan provides the capital to acquire building sites, new construction, renovations, or modifications of residential or commercial properties.

  • Customers have access to flexible payment options.
  • Furthermore, the option is available to convert a construction loan into a mortgage.

Investments

Structured Products

This type of investment is suitable for customers who don’t want to just follow the traditional route of investment. Furthermore, these investments offer attractive features such as a high degree of flexibility and possibilities.

  • Customers will realize their expectations of the market.
  • Bespoke solutions that offer unique opportunities and risks.
  • Product designs are simple and easy to follow.
  • Also, aceess to special markets even with a small amount of capital.
  • Finally, the rapid implementation of investment ideas.

Capital Protection Products

A product that provides protection at maturity regardless of the performance of the asset. Furthermore, an additional payout component may be distributed. Also, floored floaters belong in this category.

Yield Enhancement Products

Customers have access to structured products that offer attractive returns via coupon payments. These take place in an environment of stable or moderately rising prices. Finally, there is no guaranteed minimum repayment.

Participation Products

With this investment type, customers have access to unlimited participation in favorable movements. This includes the price of the underlying asset.

Alternative Investments

Hedge Funds

Customers have the chance to invest in funds that use derivative strategies. They then invest in the fund’s net assets. Furthermore, the funds are classified according to the investment style.

Private Equity

These are investments that take place in the equity capital of unlisted companies. Furthermore, these are for private and long-term investments.

Commodities

Customers have the opportunity to invest in unprocessed tangible goods. These are produced in the agricultural or mining sectors. Furthermore, these investments can be done directly or indirectly.

Real Estate

With this type of investment, customers can decide to invest in the markets or purchase property directly. Options that do not include the physical property, include equities, property shares, investment funds, or derivatives.

Responsible Investments

Customers will have access to portfolios that work with responsible and sustainable groups. This ensures that customers invest in products that take their social and environmental impact into consideration.

Direct Investments

Equities

This type of investment gives a customer access to securities that give the investor share in a stock corporation’s equity capital.

Bonds

These types of investments are debt securities put up by private companies and the public sector to obtain external financing.

Medium-Term Notes

This option provides customers with a bit more stability, as they invest at a fixed rate and term.

Money Market

These are generally short-term investments and customers choose a period of up to a year. Furthermore, they will receive a fixed rate of interest for that period.

Credit Suisse Corporate and Institutions Banking Product Offerings

State Bank of India also happens to offer products over various economic sectors.

Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Corporates and Institutions Home Page Credit Suisse

Financing

Loans

There are a variety of different products on offer in this category. Furthermore, the products are tailored to the needs of the clients.

  • Operating Loan
  • Investment Loan
  • Lombard Loan

Mortgages

Property is one of the best ways for businesses to build their asset portfolio. There are also a number of different mortgage models to suit the needs of the individual clients.

  • Fix Mortgage
  • Forward Fix Mortgage
  • Flex Rollover Mortgage
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
  • Construction Loan

Leasing

The ideal financing solution for those who need to meet certain financial targets.

  • Equipment Leasing
  • Vendor Leasing
  • Car Leasing

Factoring

With this option, customers have access to working capital as they sell or assign their outstanding trade receivables to the bank.

  • Full Service Factoring
  • In-House Factoring
  • In-House Factoring Dual
  • Business Easy Factoring

Hedging Interest Rate Risks

The changes in interest rates are often unpredictable and can leave investors out of pocket if not budgeted for. Hedging provides customers with peace of mind as there are suitable hedging instruments for the different turns in the market.

  • Hedge Against Rising Prices
  • Hedge Against Falling Prices

Structured Finance & Syndications

Some businesses require financing that requires something that can handle situations that are a bit more complex.

Acquisition Financing

This type of financing is important for corporates, as it allows them to fund their acquisitions. Furthermore, customers will have access to bridge loans to take care of future capital market refinancing. This is suitable for medium and long-term bank financing.

Management Buy-Out / Buy-In

This type of solution allows customers to take care of their succession planning with ease. This option is also suitable for those who wish to sell their companies as well.

Expansion and Liquidity Security

This type of loan takes care of those uncertain moments in a business where there is either dynamic growth or a temporary decline. This type of finance also keeps the risks at bay.

Syndications

These are the same as consortium loans and provide a funding structure supported by several banks. This is to the same client and under the same conditions. Furthermore, Credit Suisse can underwrite syndication loans for confidential transactions.

Commercial Real Estate

This option is available to private clients, companies, real estate owners, and investors. This option also allows the structuring of complex real estate deals and acquisition financing. There is also an option to work with the Midmarket Investment Banking team or the bank can broker real estate on the customer’s behalf.

Ship Finance

Getting goods around world, especially in massive quantities, work well on ships. Credit Suisse offers customers finance solutions to purchase commercial ocean-going vessels such as tankers, dry freight, and container ships. Furthermore, the finance takes place for up to 50% to 65% of the value of the ship. Also, the ship cannot be older than 15 years. Finally, customers have access to 360-degree advice.

Accounts and Payments

Business Easy Package

This package is the ideal solution for customers who need a simple solution to meet their business banking requirements. The package includes

  • A corporate account
  • Also, Maestro card and credit cards
  • Online and mobile banking

Furthermore, the Easy Package also provides customers with add-ons such as Business Easy Savings, Forex, Overdraft Limits, Leasing, Factoring, and Loans.

Current Account

This account provides a flexible basis for everyday banking transactions.

Business Easy Savings

This account provides business owners with a means of earning interest on their positive balances. Furthermore, the account remains flexible.

Call Account

This account allows investors to invest short-term to earn interest. Furthermore, investors determine the notice period.

Cash Deposit Account

This account provides a savings vehicle for customers who don’t need access to their funds on the short or medium term.

Credit Cards

Business Cards

Business owners can choose between the Credit Suisse Gold and Silver card packages. Furthermore, customers will receive an American Express Business Card and a MasterCard Business with a wide range of SME-related services. Also, the card provides access to extensive insurance. Finally, there are attractive Membership Rewards and more.

Corporate Card

Customers will make use of the American Express Corporate Card when their business has more than 25 employees. Furthermore, the card provides an easy way to take care of expenses related to travel, business meetings, and purchases.

Payment Solutions

Businesses often require various means of making their payments. Credit Suisse offers:

  • Payment Channels
  • Outgoing Payments
  • Incoming Payments

Cash Management

Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Cash Management Home Page Credit Suisse

Cash management is at the heart of the effective running of a business. Where there is a delay in cash management, it could cause potential problems for a business owner. For this reason, Credit Suisse provides various cash management channels. Some of the products available to customers include:

  • Direct Net for Corporates, Link, and Exchange
  • Multibanking
  • MT 940 / 942
  • SWIFT for Corporates

International Business Transactions

Find out whether Standard Bank offers this service to their customers in their full review.

International business often makes up a large portion of the income of a business, therefore, it’s integral that operations flow smoothly.

Foreign Exchange Business

This option provides customers with a selection of foreign exchange products. Furthermore, customers will have all their currency-related questions answered.

Trade Finance

This option allows customers to buy and sell goods and services to a foreign market. Furthermore, customers will have access to a range of instruments to ensure payments are made and services are performed.

  • Documentary Credits and Collection
  • Guarantees
  • Surety Bonds

Export Finance

With this product, the bank will finance the export capital goods and services with insurance coverage. Furthermore, this is for the Swiss Export Risk (SERV) or private credit insurance.

Factoring

This option allows companies to effectively meet their core business needs.

Exclusive Partner Network

Customers have access to an affiliation with an established and stable network of international partners. Furthermore, these partners will help customers make a quick breakthrough in their international business.

Sector-Specific Solutions

These are bespoke solutions for those who require something a little different, yet specialized.

  • Attorneys and Notaries
  • Healthcare
  • Corporate Treasury

Credit Suisse also takes care of other divisions, such as institutional investors, public sector entities, commodity traders, and financial institutions.

Review of Credit Suisse – 7 of 10

Is this is good rating? See how it compares to that of Societe Generale. 

Customer satisfaction reviews

Glassdoor

One of the lower ratings we’ve seen on this site of a bank. Also, the rating of the CEO is far less than other banks’ CEOs.

Indeed

4 of 5 is a good review for this bank.

The Motley Fool

Credit Suisse
Screenshot of Motley Fool Rating of Credit Suisse

An online community that rates the bank 4 of 5.

Financial Stability Rating

After receiving poor ratings from the agencies in the beginning of 2016, Moody’s redeemed the bank in December 2016. Furthermore, the bank now enjoys an outlook positive rating.

Security of Funds

The Swedish government requires through the Swiss Bank Act of 2005 the protection of deposits. This is also applicable to all Swiss banks and securities dealers. Furthermore, this is for preferential deposits and certain limits and restrictions apply.

Review by Critical Reviews

The bank is a beacon of reliability in an ever-changing world. Furthermore, structured products meet the various needs of customers. The bank has a strong focus where businesses and corporates are concerned. It also has a strong focus on insurance-related products.

Some of the detractors for the bank include the lack of lending products for the ordinary man on the street. Even the lending products for the wealthy are scarce and do not cover all needs. There is also a lack of customer feedback on the bank, and employees seem to be a bit reluctant to promote the bank. Furthermore, the website feels dated and difficult to navigate, with information scattered over various tabs. This makes the site feel a little less user-friendly. Finally, the lack of job security is of big concern, as the staff morale will trickle down to the clients.

An American bank that is making waves is Wells Fargo. Discover how they fared in their full review.

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