Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam says traders worked 36 hours straight during the EU referendum

Thiam blamed the UK’s decision to leave the EU on a chronic lack of investment in British education

Zlata Rodionova@zlata07
Monday 11 July 2016 12:53
comments
'Some of our people worked 36 hours straight and at one point we had 27 times the normal daily trading volume,' Thiam said
'Some of our people worked 36 hours straight and at one point we had 27 times the normal daily trading volume,' Thiam said

Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse CEO, has said the EU referendum was “real test” to the company and that some staff worked 36 hours straight to cope with market activity around the vote.

Thiam, who congratulated the bank’s staff for their hard work, said some of its employees worked for 36 hours straight the day following the EU referendum as trading volumes were 27 times higher than usual.

“I was on the trading floor in London the day after the Brexit referendum. Some of our people worked 36 hours straight and at one point we had 27 times the normal daily trading volume,” Thiam told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

“Our systems worked without a hitch. This was a real test of the strength of our organisation,” he said.

Senior staff at other major institutions such as JP Morgan, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and UBS warned they would have more activities and staff on hand on the night of the referendum because of potential market volatility and client demand.

“We will be helping clients navigate markets throughout the night and post the EU referendum decision,” a Barclays spokesperson told the Evening Standard.

Hargreaves trebled the amount of staff who could take trades during the referendum.

Thiam blamed the UK’s decision to leave the EU on a chronic lack of investment in British education.He said he was shocked by the level of inequality in the country when visiting a school in Tower Hamlets, where around half pupils only ate once a day.

“That's something I had seen in Ivory Coast,” Thiam said.

He said the chaos following the vote vindicated his decision to sell off illiquid positions and reduce the bank's risk profile.

“The day after Brexit we were all glad we didn't hold these positions any longer,” he said.

JP Morgan downgraded their Credit Suisse rating on Monday following the referendum, citing new pressure on the bank’s profitability as the result of the vote.

Shares in Credit Suisse tumbled nearly 10 per cent to 10.14 CHF ($10.43), touching their lowest mark since 1997, on the same day.

Credit Suisse shares have dropped by nearly 64 per cent from their one year high on July 23 last year.

The aftermath of the vote to exit the EU membership has prompted a boom in demand for legal and financial services as UK businesses race to make sense of the situation ahead of the UK leaving the EU.

KPMG, one of the fourth largest accountancy firms in the world, has created a head of Brexit position to manage client advice as the UK prepares to leaves the EU.

Meanwhile PwC and Ernst and Young have set up Brexit teams to cope with demand.

KPMG said the full ramifications of Brexit remain to be seen but highlighted that six deals the company was working on were put on hold after the vote.

“As our clients look further into the future, they are considering opportunities as well as risks. We therefore expect Brexit to act as a catalyst to businesses looking to transform their strategies and operations in a post-Brexit world. Clearly, how this plays out will depend on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU,” Karen Briggs, KPMG’s new head of Brexit told the Independent.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments