Credit Suisse on the lookout for private banks, says top director

CREDIT Suisse is actively seeking to make acquisitions in private banking, one of the bank&rsquo;s senior directors said yesterday.<br /><br />Walter Berchtold, chief executive of Credit Suisse&rsquo;s private banking business, said at an industry event that the firm was &ldquo;clearly ready to acquire&rdquo;.<br /><br />Sources close to the Swiss bank said any purchase was likely to be a &ldquo;bolt-on&rdquo; acquisition, similar to the deal to buy Brazilian asset manager Hedging Griffo in 2006.<br /><br />Despite its appetite for acquisitions, Credit Suisse is understood to have dropped out of the race to acquire Dutch group ING&rsquo;s private banking units in Asia and Switzerland, which are up for sale as the lender looks to raise funds to repay state aid.