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Gaining from UBS strife

WITH UBS caught in a maelstrom, its major rival Credit Suisse has been clearing up. Its private banking division raked in SwFr12.9bn in new assets from wealth management clients in the first three months of the year, up from SwFr5.4bn in the fourth quarter of last year and SwFr9.6bn in the same period of 2009. Its status as a big, full-service bank that has emerged from the crisis relatively unscathed is serving it well. UBS is looking healthier by the day, however. Credit Suisse will only be able to dine out on its reputation for so long.

Despite increasing profits to SwFr3bn, against consensus expectations of SwFr2.8bn and last year’s SWFr2.6bn, shares were off almost five per cent to SwFr51.60. Investors had been hoping for the same kind of expectation-busting performance that the US banks have been putting in, while margins at the Wealth Management arm declined to 121 basis points, from 134bps in the same period last year. Still, Credit Suisse’s full-service model is sure to be in vogue as the recovery gathers pace. Use any short-term dip in the shares as a chance to buy.