The ambition of the frayed management at Credit Suisse is to ditch casino banking and to make a comeback as a wealth manager.It may not seem an impossible task.

After all, competitor UBS is back in rude health after ‘fessing up to wholesale US tax evasion on behalf of clients in 2009.

Yet the idea that, somehow, Credit Suisse will ever again be a name to be trusted for keeping the savings of the world’s rich safe is fanciful.

Withdrawals: The super-rich across the globe decided to pull an astounding £100bn of funds out of the Swiss bank in the final three months of the year

Withdrawals: The super-rich across the globe decided to pull an astounding £100bn of funds out of the Swiss bank in the final three months of the year

The super-rich across the globe decided to pull an astounding £100billion of funds out of the Swiss bank in the final three months of the year as confidence in its survival faded.

There is no shortage of other more solidly anchored enterprises such as Goldman Sachs, which is making a big push into European wealth management, offering safer havens.

That may be more valuable to Europe’s financial elites than the tax advantages which once gave the gnomes of Zurich an edge.

Chief executive Ulrich Koerner’s plan for turnaround involves spinning off investment banking to focus on managing money. 

But with such staggering outflows, there are big questions as to whether Credit Suisse, which raised new capital in November, has much of a future.

As part of the rebuild plan it is spinning out investment banking.

It recently spent £135million on buying a former board member’s advisory boutique.

There is a long way to go for the investment bank, given that trading revenues were just £12.5million last year.

The notion of a new Credit Suisse First Boston, arising phoenix-like from the ashes and being sold off for a pot of gold, might be wishful thinking.

The damage done by a series of scandals, including a disastrous relationship with Britain’s Greensill, is staggering.

Soriot demarche

Unsurprising, perhaps, that the Confederation of British Industry, in its Budget submission, made a plea for investment reliefs to compensate for the whopping hike in company tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent.

Director general Tony Danker argued that the combination of a sharp jump in corporation tax and the timed end of Rishi Sunak’s ‘super-deduction’ (taxation relief on new spending on plant, IT and the like) would have a ‘huge impact’ on investment.

It is quite a different thing when the call for a change of direction comes from Britain’s life sciences champion.

Under Pascal Soriot’s decade long stewardship, AstraZeneca has been transformed from a laggard into one of world’s great and most innovative life sciences companies.

The public knows it best as the pharma group which embraced the Oxford-Jenner Covid vaccine.In pharma it is known for its immunology treatments for cancer, heavy spending on research and development and a pipeline of new medicines.

When Soriot says he is minded to invest £333million in a new manufacturing facility in Ireland, because the UK tax rate is so discouraging, Jeremy Hunt must listen.

After all, slot server kamboja gacor if it wasn’t for Soriot’s spirited defence of Astra’s independence, in the face of bid from Pfizer, the British company would be no more than an offshoot of the American giant — its research centre in Cambridge a forgotten dream.

Astra’s progress has been phenomenal — a 25 per cent rise in turnover to £37billion last year and profits of £2.1billion. It is projecting higher earnings in 2023 in spite of pouring investment into 30 trials of new compounds.

The Government will destroy Britain’s chances of emerging from the curse of sub-optimal productivity unless it acts on delivering tax reform in the Budget.

Russian stand-off

When Unilever boss Alan Jope ran into heavy weather over ice cream operations in the West Bank, he defied the board of Ben & Jerry’s and rapidly divorced the group from the dispute by selling operations to its Israeli distributor.

Contrast the speed with which it untied that political knot with its failure to sever relations with Russia where it ran up sales of £750million last year and earned £147million.

Jope is preoccupied by the fate of its 3,500 staff.Admirable as that may be, he and his colleagues need to come to terms with the fact that the Kremlin is engaged in a brutal war and hard decisions have to be made.

If tobacco giant BAT, which controlled 25 per cent of Russia’s smoking market, can pull out, as just announced, so can Unilever.

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