Credit Suisse adding 1,200 jobs, getting $40 million in tax breaks in North Carolina expansion

Bywith the Associated Press via WTVD logo
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
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Governor Roy Cooper

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Credit Suisse is adding 1,200 jobs at its technology hub in North Carolina, which approved more than $40 million in tax breaks on Tuesday to lure the jobs away from the New York City area.

The Swiss bank is reorganizing operations and sharply reducing its workforce after two years of losses, cutting up to 6,500 jobs this year after slashing its overall headcount by 7,200 last year.

Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement at Credit Suisse's offices in Morrisville.

"Credit Suisse has enjoyed a strong presence in North Carolina for more than a decade, and they've flourished here," said Governor Cooper. "We're encouraged that this commitment to North Carolina will bring high-paying jobs and spur economic development across our state."

The announcement comes five weeks after North Carolina partially repealed House Bill 2, which limited the rights of gay and transgender people. Passage of HB2 in March 2016 led financial firms Deutsche Bank and PayPal to cancel North Carolina expansion plans.

There was talk the multinational financial services holding company was considering the expansion in the past, but was concerned about the controversial so-called "bathroom bill".

Governor Cooper signs North Carolina's HB2 compromise bill

Critics called the partial repeal a sham meant to end boycotts, because it still prevents local protections from discrimination over sexual orientation and gender identity, and puts state lawmakers in charge of bathroom policies.

The bank had also considered the jobs announced Tuesday for Jersey City, New Jersey, according to documents provided by the state committee which approves large, discretionary tax breaks. With community college training and local sweeteners, Credit Suisse could get benefits of up to $44 million related to its North Carolina jobs.

The Governor explained to ABC11 Monday about how the business climate has changed since HB2 was replaced.

"The business climate has definitely improved in North Carolina," Governor Cooper said. "We've seen the NCAA, the ACC, the NBA All-Star game, a number of businesses that may not have come otherwise who decided to come to our state. So I think it's positive. But I think it's important to realize, though, that we still have more to do to fight discrimination in our state."

The bank's jobs shift represents North Carolina's largest corporate expansion since MetLife Inc. said in 2013 that it would move 2,600 jobs from other states.

Credit Suisse decided after the 2001 terrorist attacks to move some vital back-office operations away from New York City. The Zurich-based bank now employs about 1,700 people at its operations in the tech-heavy North Carolina metropolitan area that includes the university towns of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.

The company in 2004 announced it was investing $100 million in a support and information technology center for its investment banking division. The Research Triangle Park location also includes some finance professionals.

But Credit Suisse has seen rocky times in recent years. Chairman Urs Rohner said bank is issuing new shares to raise about 4 billion Swiss francs (US$3.98 billion) to finance the ongoing restructuring.

Credit Suisse lost 2.44 billion Swiss francs (US$2.42 billion) last year, but reported a return to profit in the first quarter of this year at 596 million francs (US$594 million) on the strength of a surge in its wealth management business.

The bank also has U.S. operations in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and employs more than 45,000 in 50 countries focused on banking, investing and finance.

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