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Polls and Awards

Structured Products House of the Year — Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse has harnessed its strength in structured products to deliver innovative solutions for its private banking and institutional clients in a collaborative fashion.

The bank has long-standing expertise in the provision of structured products, but recent changes have put the business on a global footing and mark a step change in the provision of solutions to both its institutional and private banking clients. 

In many cases, Credit Suisse’s private banking clients have investment banking needs that are just as sophisticated as the hedge fund and insurance clients that it serves across the product spectrum and the bank has long recognised the value of serving its private banking clients with more investment banking style products.

The growth of its international trading solutions (ITS) business, formed three years ago to bring its structured products offerings under a single umbrella, is evidence of this. In the first quarter of 2020, ITS revenues were 64% higher than they were in 2018. 

The ITS platform has enabled Credit Suisse to establish a market-leading business in the issuance of structured notes, providing access to all asset classes through an integrated platform. James Howard, the Swiss shop’s co-head of cross-asset investor products, says: “We work extremely well across the different asset classes. That cross-asset collaboration means we are able to deliver proper cross-asset solutions to clients.”

During the coronavirus-induced volatility in March and April, Credit Suisse stood out for its risk management and levels of service, continuing to provide solutions for clients in the most difficult times. 

To protect against instantaneous shocks, Credit Suisse has divisional credit risk officers working in close proximity to clients and the markets business, enabling a granular level of risk control. “Our trading desk did a great job,” says Howard. “We spent a lot of time managing the tail risks, which allowed us to keep trading and provide a continued service to our clients and capitalise on the position in the book.”

Credit Suisse’s success in structured products is also helped by the way it has evolved the business throughout the cycle. That continued this year when in July it put the business on a global footing by combining ITS with its Asian equivalent, ATS, to form Global Trading Services, a move that will enable it to grow further to strengthen global connectivity.