A brief history of Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse is a world famous Swiss bank. Headquartered in Zurich it has branches in more 50 countries. Credit Suisse employs around 48k people. It is the second largest bank in Switzerland. Credit Suisse offers clients expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking, and asset management.

It is a world leader in providing financial services, counseling clients on all aspects of private banking, investment banking and asset management.

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History of Credit Suisse

The history of Credit Suisse dates back to July 5, 1856 when a young politician and businessman Alfred Asher established Schweizerische Kreditanstalt in Zurich. He put 3m Swiss francs worth of shares on public offer and later received 218m Swiss francs in subscriptions within three days.

Credit Suisse was originally founded to finance the development of Swiss national railway, industry and electrification. The bank also helped develop the Swiss monetary system and, by 1871 the Bank Credit Suisse became the largest in Switzerland.

The first branch was opened in Basel in 1905. In 1942, Credit Suisse came to New York. It also became a major gold trading house.

In 1978, the bank began its partnership with the First Boston Corporation in the U.S., acquiring a controlling stake in the firm. In 1988, Credit Suisse purchased First Boston creating CS First Boston, Inc.  In 1993, Swiss Volksbank, the nation’s fourth largest bank was acquired. At the same time, Credit Suisse began to provide banking services by telephone.

In 1997, the bank undertook several important transformations including the renaming of CS Holding as Credit Suisse Group. The merger of global investment banking operations under Credit Suisse First Boston and the acquisition of Winterthur Insurance, one of the biggest Swiss-based insurance companies. These moves immediately vaulted Credit Suisse into the top ten financial services companies in the world. Additionally, at the same time, the bank opened its own Internet banking service called “Direct Net”. It was the first Internet banking in Switzerland.

The Credit Suisse Group was once again restructured in 2002. The structure was streamlined into two business units: Credit Suisse First Boston and Credit Suisse Financial Services. The Credit Suisse business unit offers investment products, private banking and financial advisory services for private and corporate clients. It is active in investment banking, capital markets and financial services.

Credit Suisse Today

Today, the Credit Suisse Group is a holding company, after the reorganization of 2015, consisting of the following divisions:

  • Swiss Universal Bank that provides all major banking services in Switzerland. It includes services for private customers, corporations and financial institutions.
  • International Wealth Management is a limited range of banking services to wealthy individuals in Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
  • Asia Pacific is banking services in Asia and Oceania including private banking and investment banking.
  • Global Markets provide securities trading, brokerage and underwriting as well as investment research.
  • Investment Banking & Capital Markets provide advice on mergers and acquisitions.
  • Strategic Resolution Unit
  • Corporate Center