Credit Suisse launches Japan private banking

The private banking business will be led by Junya Tani and will target wealthy individuals, families and corporations with Ñ1 billion in financial assets.

Credit Suisse announced yesterday the official launch of its private banking operation in Japan. The business will be led by Junya Tani, head of private banking Japan for Credit Suisse based in Tokyo.

"Credit Suisse's strengths are increasingly recognised by existing and potential clients and this provides the bank with a distinct competitive advantage," said Walter Berchtold, CEO of private banking.  

In the first quarter of 2009, Credit Suisse achieved a net income of SFr2 billion ($1.8 billion) and a return-on-equity of 22.6%, which the bank is keen to point out positions it well within the private banking industry.

"The combination of a strong capital position, strong funding and liquidity, well-positioned businesses, a robust business model, a clear strategy, a significantly lower risk profile with one of the cleanest balance sheets in the industry and no government ownership makes Credit Suisse a trusted partner for clients," said Berchtold.

Being the world's second largest economy, Japan has an enormous amount of accumulated wealth, despite the economic slump it has been in for some time -- and Credit Suisse sees strong potential in the local wealth management market. The firm says the launch of its core private banking business in the country "underscores Credit Suisse's ongoing commitment to the important Japan market and to continuously expanding its local product and service offerings for its clients in Japan". Credit Suisse has been conducting investment banking and asset management operations in the country for close to 40 years.

Credit Suisse will provide private banking services for wealthy individuals, families and corporations with more than ¥1 billion in financial assets through its banking entity, Credit Suisse Tokyo Branch, and its securities entity, Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Limited.

The firm initially announced its plan to offer private banking in Japan back in July of last year, when it also revealed the appointment of Tani to the firm. Tani joined Credit Suisse from UBS Securities Japan, where he was head of wealth management for Japan. Prior to UBS, he worked for Citi where his last position was head of product development in the private banking division. Tani received a degree in law from the University of Tokyo and began his career at the Bank of Tokyo in 1981.

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