Our purpose

We recognize the power of purpose to enable our strategy, engage our employees and deliver for our clients and stakeholders. At the end of 2020, we announced our inaugural bank-wide purpose statement: “We build lasting value by serving our clients with care and entrepreneurial spirit.” This announcement was the culmination of a year-long effort by our employees to capture the true essence of what energizes our teams every day and motivates them in their work. With it, we capture the essence of “why” we exist as an organization. While many of the elements of our purpose have been part of how we operate since the bank’s foundation in 1856, this was the first time we had adopted and published a bank-wide purpose statement. In 2021, we continued to recognize the importance of being clear with our stakeholders about our purpose as a priority.

As a bank, we provide capital, manage and protect wealth, participate in markets and facilitate infrastructure development. These activities allow us to contribute to sustainable economic growth. Clients want to do business with an organization that has a purpose they believe in. Employees choose to work for an organization whose purpose motivates and inspires them. And finally, regulators are beginning to question the general direction of banks that lack a clearly articulated purpose. For all these reasons our purpose remains core to what we stand for as an organization.

Credit Suisse has been in business for more than 165 years. We have evolved from a Swiss bank financing the national railway system to a truly global bank operating in around 50 countries. Over this time, we have learned that our success and the success of our clients and shareholders goes hand in hand with the success of those around us – the communities we operate in. We believe that focusing on serving our clients and building lasting value for them will naturally lead to the broader delivery on our role as a bank. Lasting value for our clients will also have a positive impact on other important stakeholders, through investments in growth, protection of wealth and financing of business.

Purpose video

Learn more about our approach to purpose.

2021 was a challenging year for Credit Suisse, in which incidents such as the Archegos and Supply Chain Finance Funds matters prompted us to question whether our purpose statement and IMPACT values (see A values-based culture section for more details) were adequate. As a result, we have reviewed both our purpose statement and our values. The conclusion was that they remain as valid as ever, and our objective to become a truly purpose-led organization continues to be a priority. The review process resulted in a confirmation of our commitment to fully embed our purpose and values across the organization, which we believe is key to helping prevent similar incidents in the future.