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Credit Suisse offers higher deposit rates in Asia to woo the wealthy – sources

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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By Selena Li

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Credit Suisse is offering higher deposit rates than its rivals to attract new funds from wealthy clients in Asia, people with knowledge of the matter said, as the embattled private bank seeks to stem outflows and stop its bankers leaving.

The Swiss bank is offering a 6.5% annual rate on new three-month deposits of $5 million or above, said three sources with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Bloomberg on Thursday first reported the 6.5% deposit rate offered by the bank.

Credit Suisse is also offering a rate as high as 7% for one-year deposits, the sources told Reuters.

“The banking sector has been responding to global rate hikes with higher rates and Credit Suisse is fully focused on providing our clients with differentiated advice and competitive solutions,” a Credit Suisse spokesperson said.

The offers are roughly 100 to 200 basis points higher than those of major rivals in the region such as JPMorgan, UBS and Citi Group, two of the sources and a senior wealth manager said.

Citi and UBS declined to comment. JPMorgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The new deposit rates are higher than Credit Suisse’s lending rates in Asia, one of the two sources said, adding that it raises concerns about how the business can sustain such a funding gap.

The third source said the offers are valid until the end of this quarter and only apply to new cash deposits, not to existing portfolios.

Total assets at Credit Suisse’s wealth division, which was hit by worse-than-expected 92.7 billion franc outflows in the fourth quarter, fell to 540.5 billion Swiss francs ($575 billion) by the end of last year from 742.6 billion francs a year earlier.

(Reporting by Selena Li; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee, Kirsten Donovan and Edmund Klamann)