Banking Trust & Expertise
Trust & Expertise
We offer our clients high-quality service and advice, actively support regulatory reforms and strive to maintain a rigorous compliance and control culture in order to reinforce trust in our bank.
We make the needs of our clients the focus of our business activities. We offer high-quality service and advice and are committed to strengthening investor protection. We regularly assess our clients’ overall level of satisfaction with our service and advice, and we support small and medium-sized enterprises in Switzerland with loans and expertise.
High-Quality Service and Advice
We regularly review the suitability and appropriateness of the advice we offer – testing and documenting the quality of our investment recommendations to assess whether our clients have the knowledge and experience to understand the associated risks. Our advisory process incorporates sophisticated analytical tools that can identify the counterparty risks and potential returns in client portfolios to provide an objective basis for client investment decisions. Credit Suisse has been committed to strengthening investor protection for a number of years and has invested in the related systems, processes and employee training – including a mandatory certification program for relationship managers.
The Credit Suisse Global Service Monitor Program measures client satisfaction and benchmarks it against the client satisfaction of our main peers. Feedback from clients and prospects provides an insight into how we can improve our service and advice at multiple levels. Conducted in selected markets, the results of the 2015 survey reveal consistently strong levels of client satisfaction. In Switzerland, for example, 93% of private clients are satisfied and over 50% are very satisfied with Credit Suisse.
SMEs in Switzerland
We believe that banks have a critical role to play in supplying businesses with the capital they need to finance growth and innovation. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not generally able to access the capital markets for finance and are therefore reliant on business loans to fund sales and investment.
We support SMEs in Switzerland with loans and expertise, as these businesses form the backbone of the Swiss economy. Credit Suisse considers it important to support Swiss SMEs by operating a reliable and consistent lending policy and by offering them advice on topics such as succession planning. The bank has business relationships with around 100,000 Swiss firms, meaning that almost every third SME is a client of Credit Suisse.
Find out more about how Credit Suisse works with Swiss businesses to support growth.
At Credit Suisse, we strive to rule out all forms of misconduct within our company and prohibit unethical behavior. Recognizing the critical role of employees in helping to preserve financial integrity, we strive for the highest standards of personal accountability and ethical conduct from each member of our workforce. All employees and members of the Board of Directors are obligated to adhere to Credit Suisse’s Code of Conduct. In addition, employees are required to participate in targeted training courses that include, but are not limited to, developments in the finance industry such as anti-corruption and risk management measures. Since many operational risk incidents are identified or resolved as a result of employee diligence, we additionally have a set of Business Conduct Behaviors that give our employees guidance in their daily activities in order to help reduce the potential for operational or conduct losses resulting from breaches of ethical standards or missed opportunities to identify, escalate and resolve problems at an early stage. These behaviors are grouped into three categories: Ethical Behavior, Thoughtful Behavior and Learning from Mistakes.
Credit Suisse manages service and infrastructure disruption risks through a Business Continuity Management Plan, our Technology Risk Management Program and other contingency and resiliency plans. Ensuring that the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information assets are protected is critical to our operations.
We also strive to prevent the improper use of products and services by third parties. As part of our efforts to fulfill our due diligence requirements, our policies contain strict internal controls. We cooperate with the relevant authorities and issue policies governing topics such as business relations with politically exposed persons (PEP), the prevention of fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing, and adherence to applicable economic and trade sanctions laws. To protect against the risk of corruption, we have promulgated and regularly work to enhance our global standards related to corruption prevention. We have a range of policies, procedures and internal controls, with requirements such as the screening of third parties who conduct business for or on behalf of Credit Suisse and dedicated controls related to gifts and entertainment, internships and other employment opportunities, charitable contributions and sponsorship. Furthermore, the bank is actively involved in the development and implementation of industry standards to combat money laundering and corruption. An example is Credit Suisse’s participation in the Wolfsberg Group, which reflects our commitment to implementing its anti-money laundering and anti-bribery standards while also staying abreast of important developments. Employees are required to regularly complete mandatory online training courses on topics ranging from the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption to compliance with economic sanctions. Additionally, they have a duty to report cases of potential legal, regulatory or ethical misconduct to their line managers or to Compliance and Regulatory Affairs. Employees worldwide also have the option of calling our Integrity Hotline, where they can report such issues anonymously, where permitted by local law.
The importance that Credit Suisse assigns to the area of compliance is also reflected by the fact that Compliance and Regulatory Affairs was separated from the legal function in October 2015 to create an independent Executive Board level function with the specific mandate of managing all compliance and regulatory matters for Credit Suisse. The Internal Audit department monitors compliance with internal and external standards, policies and guidelines. Employee infractions are subject to escalation and assessment processes that are known to all relevant parties, including employees, line management, risk management and control functions, and senior management bodies, among others. Our Disciplinary Review Committees (DRCs) provide a framework that is designed to ensure that the bank’s articulated standards of professional conduct, policies and procedures are adhered to and consistently enforced on a continuous basis across the regions in which we operate, subject to local differences. The DRCs are designed to execute their mandate by providing an independent review and, where necessary, participating in or challenging decisions about measures to sanction employee misconduct. Disciplinary measures range from various forms of warnings to termination of employment and, depending on severity, are taken into consideration for performance evaluation and promotions and are a factor in the calculation of variable compensation awards or malus/clawback claims. Each DRC formally oversees annual year-end compensation and performance review processes, and outcomes are reported to the Compensation Committee for review. The Audit Committee and the Capital Allocation and Risk Management Committee are provided with quarterly management information regarding the number and categories of misconduct identified and disciplinary actions taken.
Commitment to Tax Compliance
One of the guiding principles set out in our Code of Conduct is that we do not assist in any activities that are intended to breach tax obligations. We therefore support measures that can reasonably be implemented to ensure that all inflows into our bank consist of tax-compliant assets. We believe that tax compliance is the duty of each individual, and we therefore supply our clients with the documentation they require to comply with tax regulations. As part of the account opening process, new clients acknowledge that they are responsible for complying with statutory legislation (including tax legislation), and they confirm that they will comply with such legislation at all times. Furthermore, Credit Suisse only offers clients products and services that we believe are compliant with the rules in their home country and has comprehensive programs in place to support the regularization of legacy assets from past business activities.
In connection with the move towards increased access to cross-border bank data by international tax authorities, Switzerland is one of a number of countries that have agreed to accept the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which represents the global standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information in tax matters. Under the Automatic Exchange of Information financial institutions are expected to provide information on assets and income for accounts held or controlled by clients who have a tax residence in a foreign participating country. The information will be reported to the bank’s domestic tax authority to enable regulators in participating countries to share tax-relevant client data among each other. Switzerland belongs to the group of countries that plan to start collecting tax-relevant data in 2017, with the first exchange of information in 2018. Credit Suisse welcomes Switzerland’s commitments in this area and its strategy of actively participating in this development of international tax cooperation.