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Credit Suisse sells offshore trust businesses

Credit Suisse is to sell its trust businesses in offshore financial hubs, in the first deals announced since new chief executive Ulrich Körner took over with a mandate to strip back the Swiss bank.

The deals include the disposal of a division that is at the center of an $800mn lawsuit the bank is facing in Singapore this week over its historic relationship with Georgia’s former prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Credit Suisse announced on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell its trust businesses in Guernsey, Singapore and the Bahamas to the Bermuda-based Bank of NT Butterfield & Son. It also plans to sell its Liechtenstein trust business to local lender Gasser Partner.

The bank did not disclose the values ​​of the deals.

Körner took over from Thomas Gottstein as chief executive of Credit Suisse last month and the group is working out a strategy to cut back its investment bank. The trust business, which provides offshore accounts to wealthy clients, is part of the company’s private bank.

The businesses being sold employ around 250 people and no redundancies are expected, according to a person with knowledge of the arrangements.

Ivanishvili, Georgia’s richest person, was a client of Credit Suisse. He is pursuing the bank’s Singapore trust business for up to $800mn of damages in a trial that started on Monday.

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