CEO: Credit Suisse saw client activity drop since July - BBG TV

Tidjane Thiam, CEO, Credit Suisse Group AG, speaks at the Milken Institute 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse has seen a drop in client activity since the start of the third quarter, Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam told Bloomberg Television, as customers become cautious amidst escalating trade worries.

“What you see lately is less activity, less transaction, definitely lower volume,” the head of Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said in the interview recorded in Beijing on Friday.

“Certainly, what we saw in July and August is a bit more caution, and you also see deleveraging,” the CEO said. “Because people see the yield curve moving up, and are worried about their level of indebtedness.”

The CEO expressed optimism over a return to normalcy in global trade relations, saying the trends promoting trade long-term remained positive, but that faltering sentiment posed a bigger business risk.

Whereas clients had become cautious over tactical investment decisions, foreign direct investment had remained relatively stable, he said, adding the bank had also been able to benefit from selling hedges and downside protection to its customers.

“We continue to have very good levels of activity, we just do different things,” he said.

He also said the bank would like to strengthen its Chinese presence by the end of 2019.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by John Miller