Credit Suisse targets Saudi Arabia for private banking push

Credit Suisse targets Saudi Arabia for private banking push

Credit Suisse has announced a recruitment drive for private bankers “relationship managers” to support its expansion into Saudi Arabia for both its wealth management business and to move towards acquiring a full banking licence.

The recruitment drive follows an email to staff from Bruno Daher, chief executive of IWM Middle East, seen by International Investment, in which he was upbeat about the region’s prospects for the Zurich-based financial giant: “Credit Suisse is further expanding and investing in its business in Saudi Arabia, a key growth market and of great importance to [the] international wealth management [division].”

He added: “We consider the onshore private banking presence as a natural progression to further build our local footprint.”

The Swiss lender is among global banks seeking to profit from an expected surge in private wealth in Saudi Arabia, where the government is looking to enlist the private sector in its plan to diversify the economy away from oil, Bloomberg reports. Deutsche Bank is preparing to “massively expand” its product offering and hire relationship managers in the kingdom, Peter Hinder, head of EMEA Wealth Management, told the newswire in an interview this month.

Full banking licence

The bank is also looking to acquire a licence to allow it to operate as a full-service bank in the Kingdom, with local branches, it told International Investment. In pursuing an SAMA (Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency) licence, it is seeking to join JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas, to whom licences have already been awarded.