Credit Suisse to merge Aargau retail banks in 100 million Swiss francs savings drive

(Reuters) – Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) intends to generate 100 million Swiss francs ($110 million) in annual savings by merging subsidiaries in the canton of Aargau and cutting the number of branches in favour of more digital bank.

The move, announced on Tuesday, is the latest stage in the revamp of the lender’s Swiss retail business. The overhaul forms part of an group-wide 400 million franc savings package unveiled at the end of July.

“The changes to Credit Suisse’s branch network across Switzerland, including branches in Canton Aargau, are expected to be implemented by the end of 2020,” Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said in a statement.

“With a goal of 109 locations – compared to 146 at present – Credit Suisse will continue to have a strong regional presence in the future.”

Savings would be achieved both through headcount reductions as well as lower general expenses related to branch closures and the merging of subsidiary Neue Aargauer Bank with Credit Suisse (Schweiz), it said.

It will introduce a new digital offering in October as it shifts focus onto digital banking and a more complex branch service for others with stronger advisory needs.

Anticipated restructuring costs of around 75 million francs were expected to be booked within a year, as the programme is completed, it said, and fall under the group-wide 300 million – 400 million franc restructuring costs announced in July.

Further details on its new digital plan will be presented in September.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; editing by Thomas Seythal)


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