Credit Suisse Tightens Its Belt

Reuters reports that Credit Suisse's investment banking division which has for years, the news agency says, been 'a byword for flamboyant highly paid investment bankers', is tightening its belt and cutting costs. The investment banking unit still, it seems, has some way to go in paring back costs when compared to rivals UBS, Goldman and Lehman Brothers.

Mark Rufeh was hired from Lehman about a year ago, and he is the man said to be responsible for taking out unnecessary costs out at the investment bank. And although many scoffed a couple of months back when it emerged that Credit Suisse staff had been asked not to use colour photocopying (except for client presentations), Rufeh's mission is a serious effort to change attitudes over at the investment banking unit.

As Reuters says, 'Rufeh is bearing down on 'non comp' costs - everything from office space to business travel and computer procurement'. Analysts feel that costs of this nature remain 'significantly higher' at Credit Suisse than at other rival firms.

Although Credit Suisse has said that it is looking at cost containment throughout the group, the investment bank is thought to be the prime candidate for the clamp-down. One measure that has apparently gone down like a lead balloon is forcing more bankers to share offices with colleagues - something known as 'densifying'. Rufeh is said to have told colleagues that he wants to create a 'Timex' environment, rather than a 'Rolex' one (he's clearly a man to 'watch'!).

Whether Rufeh will be any more successful than those in the past who have tried to get to grips with costs over at the investment bank remains to be seen - but he has one big advantage; the Swiss are behind him, and that's where the power is at Credit Suisse these days.

Source - Reuters

THAT Credit Suisse Cost-Cutting Memo

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