Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. It is the bedrock of the banking system. Clients trust us with their financial assets and we in turn trust our clients and other counterparties to honor their agreements with us. Regulators trust us all to act honestly and openly.
Integrity means being reliable and credible, operating in financial markets across regions as skillful, ethical participants. In that sense, we are all ambassadors of Credit Suisse in our professional relationships. In particular, we take our responsibility to ensure the integrity of the international financial system very seriously and as such are committed to ensuring that we maintain the highest standards of compliance – whether that be preventing financial crime or safeguarding confidential or non-public information. Establishing and maintaining a reputation for integrity also means that we need to avoid potential conflicts of interest, and we have specific policies and processes in place (such as those relating to reputational risk, personal account trading and outside interests) to ensure this.
There is no divide between integrity and performance; they go hand in hand. This holds true for our interactions with regulators, colleagues and other stakeholders.
Our actions should be conducted in a transparent and open way and communicated as such to clients, colleagues and regulators alike. At the same time, we must be mindful of the “need to know” principles when we are dealing with sensitive or confidential information. Managers play a key role in setting the right tone. Sharing ideas and fostering debate also contributes to an inclusive culture that drives engagement and competitive advantage.
Sometimes it takes courage to speak up, but courage is contagious. We know that mistakes happen. It is how and when you react which makes the difference between minor issues and major problems. Simply put, if you feel something is not right, say something.
Delivering results for our clients often means thinking outside the box. Challenging the status quo requires openness to new ideas and a willingness to debate respectfully based on content, not ego. This means listening with the same attention and passion as we want to be heard ourselves. Whether senior or junior, we are all colleagues and we need to be open to constructive criticism from anyone, without getting hurt or overly defensive, but rather focusing on whether there is something that needs to change.
Trust depends on honesty and transparency. This is not always easy, especially when we make mistakes or are aware of actions that have been taken by others that are not in line with our values. There might be a temptation to think we are protecting colleagues, the bank or even ourselves by staying silent. Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes courage to speak up, but being honest always leads to better outcomes whether it is sharing ideas or participating in investigations. As an employer, Credit Suisse commits to providing an environment where speaking up is encouraged without fear of retaliation.