UBS Group AG is considering retaining Credit Suisse Group AG’s private banking unit in India after the emergency rescue of its smaller rival last month, paving the way for a potential return to the market. Iqbal Khan, global head of wealth management at UBS, met with counterparts at Credit Suisse including the lender’s local wealth head Puneet Matta in Singapore in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.
Khan told Credit Suisse staff that the wealth business in India will likely be retained, they said. The considerations aren’t final, the people said.
UBS declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for Credit Suisse.
The move would give Switzerland’s biggest lender a stronger foothold among the growing ranks of Indian billionaires while underscoring a return for Khan to a business he once oversaw in his time at Credit Suisse before he left for UBS in 2019. By 2014, UBS had opted to exit India’s private-wealth market along with other major firms.
The merger will see large parts of Credit Suisse’s investment bank wound down as well as decisions around which of the firm’s executives, wealth managers and investment bankers will be kept.
Credit Suisse has just over 40 wealth management employees in India, and around 7,000 people overall in the country, according to a spokesperson for the bank.
Overall, India is the second-largest footprint for Credit Suisse outside of Switzerland, according to the bank’s website.
In recent months, UBS already hired several Credit Suisse private bankers in Singapore to target India’s wealthy diaspora, including Gautam Anand, a managing director.