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Credit Suisse ramps up IT simplification spend to cut costs

Anh Nguyen | July 24, 2014
Consolidating and simplifying IT networks

Credit Suisse has more than quadrupled the amount it spent on simplifying its IT architecture, as part of plans to cut nearly £3 billion in overall costs by the end of 2015.

The Swiss bank started a consolidation project, known as 'One Bank' in 2011. This involved consolidating multiple IT departments into one, simplifying network architecture and centralising data accounts.

In its half-year 2014 results out today, the investment bank revealed it spent CHF142 million (£92 million) on IT architecture simplification in the period, compared to CHF19 million (£12.4 million) in the first half of last year. Some CHF81 million (£52.7 million) was spent in Q2 2014, up from CHF61 million on the project in the first quarter.

"Realignment costs and IT architecture simplification [is] expected to continue through [the] cost reduction program," Credit Suisse said in its results today.

The bank said it is on track to achieve its cost reduction target of over CHF4.5 billion (£2.93 billion) by the end of 2015, having delivered CHF3.4 billion (£2.2 billion) of savings for the first half of 2014, compared to the first half of 2011.

However, Credit Suisse reported a loss of CHF700 million (£455 million) for the second quarter of 2014. Its loss was mainly due to the settlements ($885 million or £518 million) it paid to the Federal Housing Finance Agency over allegations that it misrepresented mortgage-backed securities sold before the financial crisis.

In 2011, the bank cut thousands of jobs in a bid to cut CHF2 billion (£1.4 billion) from costs by 2013. At the time, it said the job cuts, "centralisation of our infrastructure, and streamlining operational and support functions" played key parts in the cost reduction strategy.


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