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Credit Suisse seeing money flow back into bank after turnaround plans, boss says

The boss of investment bank Credit Suisse has said he is now seeing money flow back into the bank, after initiating huge cost-cutting plans that include axing a tenth of its European investment bankers.

Ulrich Korner, the Swiss bank’s chief executive, confirmed its turnaround plans were in “full swing” as it hopes to reinvent the bank and boost its earnings.

Mr Korner told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos that it had engaged with thousands of wealth managers across the globe since October.

Asked about the progress of its turnaround plans, Mr Korner said: “We are in full execution swing. So I think we are making really, really good progress.

“We have launched a very well organised client reach-out programme… and we have reached about 10,000 wealth management clients across the globe, in one-to-one meetings, and more than 30,000 clients in Switzerland.”

“Outflows have reduced very significantly, and we are now seeing money coming back into different parts of the firm”, he confirmed.

As part of the transformation plan announced in October, which the bank described as “radical”, the firm said it expects to lose around 9,000 employees by 2025, including 2,700 this year.

Mr Korner confirmed that it means it will lose around 10% of its investment bankers in Europe.

He added that it is “absolutely” still the plan that the bank becomes profitable from 2024 onwards.

He also spoke to CNBC about reports of a deal between Credit Suisse and its former board member Michael Klein’s boutique advisory firm.

Mr Klein stepped down from the board of directors to help launch a spin-off of its investment banking arm, New-York based CS First Boston.

Mr Korner insisted he had “zero concerns” about any potential conflicts of interest emerging from the acquisition of Mr Klein’s business.

“I’m really looking forward for Michael to join, because he is an excellent banker, excellent deal maker, and he’s very entrepreneurial,” Mr Korner added.

Talking about the wider economy, Mr Korner said that higher interest rates were helping bolster banks’ earnings.

He insisted that a more normalised interest rate environment is “much better for the world”.