Banking Trust and 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 inspire 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
Whenever we provide advice to our clients, we assess its suitability to help ensure that our clients have the requisite knowledge and experience to understand the associated risks and to make sure that our advice is in line with their risk profile and investment objectives. When executing orders on behalf of our clients, we assess the appropriateness of the transaction for them and address potential mismatches. The Credit Suisse advisory process helps us to understand our clients’ circumstances, their risk profile as well as financial needs and plans, and it incorporates sophisticated analytical tools that can identify counterparty risks and simulate potential returns in different scenarios 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 2016 survey reveal consistently strong levels of client satisfaction. In Switzerland, for example, 89% of private clients are satisfied and over 50% are very satisfied with Credit Suisse.
SMEs in Switzerland
The majority of Credit Suisse’s corporate clients are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that generally have no direct access to the capital markets and are therefore often reliant on bank loans to fund working capital and/or investments. One of our goals is to assist these companies through a fair, competitive and risk-adjusted lending policy.
Particularly in a market environment that is impacted by global developments and challenges such as the significant strengthening of the Swiss franc, we are committed to providing our Swiss corporate clients with individual advice and the best possible support to help them run their businesses effectively.
Find out more about how Credit Suisse works with Swiss businesses to support growth.
The high level of importance that Credit Suisse assigns to the area of compliance is reflected by the fact that Compliance and Regulatory Affairs operates as a dedicated function. As an independent Executive Board level function, it has the specific mandate of overseeing all compliance and regulatory matters for Credit Suisse. The Internal Audit department uses a risk-based approach to assess whether the control environment enables compliance with internal and external standards, policies and guidelines.
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. In early 2017, we launched an expanded approach to Conduct and Ethics with a set of six standards, including Client Focus, Accountability and Transparency.
Credit Suisse manages service and infrastructure disruption risks through a Business Continuity Management Plan, our Technology Risk Management Program and other business 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 issue policies governing topics such as business relations with politically exposed persons (PEP), the prevention of 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 the latest anti-money laundering and anti-bribery standards while also staying abreast of important developments. In addition, employees must ensure that transactions that may impact on the reputation of Credit Suisse undergo our bank-wide standardized Reputational Risk Review Process. 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 concerns 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.
Credit Suisse manages improper employee behavior and infractions through global escalation and disciplinary governance processes across three lines of defense. Our disciplinary process provides a framework that is designed to confirm that the bank’s articulated standards of professional conduct, policies and procedures are adhered to and enforced on an ongoing basis, subject to local differences. Our conduct and ethics boards and committees provide an independent review of disciplinary matters and, where necessary, participate in or challenge decisions that may impact employee performance reviews and compensation.
Commitment to Tax Compliance
Credit Suisse policies mandate that we do not accept or manage client assets if we know or become aware of information that would support a suspicion of tax noncompliance. To address the regulatory and reputational risks associated with undeclared assets held by private clients, Credit Suisse has, over the last several years, carried out comprehensive client tax programs and reviews covering clients in practically all of our major markets, and we have a new global Client Tax Compliance Policy.
Credit Suisse adheres to its obligation as a financial institution to collect information regarding the tax classification of clients in order to assist in the sharing of information by tax authorities across borders. In connection with the move towards increased access to cross-border bank data by foreign tax authorities, Switzerland is one of a number of countries that have agreed to accept the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which represents the global standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEI) in tax matters. Under the AEI, 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 are starting to collect tax-relevant data in 2017, with the first exchange of information in 2018.
As part of the efforts to build a tax-compliant and internationally accepted financial center, Switzerland reached a Model 2 intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the US in 2013 that facilitated the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in July 2014. This law aims to achieve a broad exchange of information and transparency regarding the offshore accounts of US taxpayers by requiring all participating non-US Financial Institutions worldwide to regularly and automatically provide reporting to the US authorities about the identity, income and assets of US persons. Credit Suisse adheres to the requirements of the IGA and continues to monitor developments in this space closely.