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Fitch Rates Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG Final 'A'

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) LONDON, November 21 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG (CS Schweiz) final 'A' Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR), 'F1' Short-Term IDR, 'a' Viability Rating (VR) and '1' Support Rating. The Outlook on the Long-Term IDR is Stable. The rating action is in line with CS Schweiz's expected ratings assigned in July 2016 (see 'Fitch Assigns Credit Suisse's Swiss Subsidiary 'A(EXP)' Expected Rating', at www.fitchratings.com) and follows the commencement of the bank's operations. The ratings on other Credit Suisse entities were last reviewed on 24 May 2016 and are unaffected by today's rating action. CS Schweiz is the newly-set up domestic banking subsidiary of Credit Suisse AG (CS; A/Stable/a-) and houses the bulk of the business in CS's Swiss Universal Bank (SUB) division, largely comprising domestic retail, corporate and private banking. Currently 100%-owned, the group plans to sell a stake in CS Schweiz through an initial public offering of up to 30% by end-2017, subject to obtaining all required approvals. The entity has been set up under a broader programme aimed at improving the resolvability of the group and preserve systemically relevant domestic functions. We expect the entity to be subject to Swiss too-big-to-fail capital requirements given its domestic significance. As of 1 August 2016, CS Schweiz's (pro-forma) total assets stood at CHF222bn under US GAAP. KEY RATING DRIVERS IDRs AND VR The Long-Term IDR of CS Schweiz is driven by its VR, which reflects its low risk domestic loan book, moderate volumes of trading assets, sound capitalisation and a strong deposit franchise. We believe CS Schweiz will be able to generate sound and resilient earnings, based on the historical performance of the SUB division. Earnings should benefit from stability provided by the entity's franchise in domestic corporate and private banking, and from the sizeable proportion of the fee-generating business. We expect costs of setting up the entity to weigh on operating expenses in the short-term, but cost-saving measures should improve efficiency over the medium term. The assets transferred to CS Schweiz consist of low-risk domestic loans, as well as moderate volumes of trading assets. Risk management has been incorporated into the wider group's risk management framework, and we expect underwriting standards in domestic retail lending to remain sound. Impaired loans in the SUB accounted for a low 0.5% of gross loans at end-3Q16. Low loan-to-value ratios in real estate lending mitigate tail risks of a correction in Swiss real estate prices, and we expect CS Schweiz to continue managing loan growth prudently. We expect market risk to be manageable and to arise principally from structural interest rate exposure, but also from some client-driven trading positions initially booked in CS Schweiz. The entity has been soundly capitalised, with solid buffers over regulatory requirements. We expect the group to pre-place internal loss absorbing capacity (LAC) within this organisation in line with resolution requirements for the bank and for the group. These buffers do not result in an uplift of CS Schweiz's Long-Term IDR above the bank's VR or the IDR of its parent however, given i) the subsidiary's small size, ii) the lack of clarity at present regarding the fungibility of internal LAC within the group and the size and form the internal LAC will take and iii) the high exposure of CS Schweiz to CS. CS Schweiz's sound funding position is underpinned by a strong deposit base. We expect the bank to be a net supplier of liquidity to the rest of the group under CS's central treasury function. As a result of the presence of this central treasury function, we expect that CS Schweiz's ratings will remain closely correlated with those of CS. Concentration risk in relation to CS Schweiz's exposure to the parent effectively caps the subsidiary's VR at the level of CS's Long-Term IDR to reflect the inherent risks in deposits with the parent. SUPPORT RATING CS Schweiz's Support Rating of '1' reflects primarily our view that the entity is an integral part of CS, whose default would constitute significant reputational risk to its parent, thus increasing CS's propensity to provide extraordinary support, if required. While CS Schweiz will make up a significant part of the group's total assets and equity, we believe it would be unlikely that the Swiss regulator would impose significant restrictions on recapitalising CS Schweiz from the rest of the group or upstreaming capital from other CS subsidiaries where available. CS Schweiz's significant relative size is further mitigated by our view that its need for support is unlikely to arise simultaneously with that of other foreign subsidiaries. RATING SENSITIVITIES IDRs AND VR The Stable Outlook on CS Schweiz's Long-Term IDR reflects that on CS's Long-Term IDR as well as our expectation that CS Schweiz will maintain solid and stable financial metrics. A longer track record of strong and stable earnings and solid capitalisation could provide upside to the entity's VR, provided it is no longer constrained at the same level by large unsecured exposures to CS. This could arise from an upgrade of CS's Long-Term IDR or from clear and stringent regulatory limits on uncollateralised exposures to other CS entities. Conversely, weaker capitalisation or asset quality or reduced earnings stability than we currently expect, or a downgrade of CS's Long-Term IDR, would put pressure on CS Schweiz's VR. CS Schweiz's Long-Term IDR could be rated above the VR if we believe buffers of qualifying junior debt and internal LAC pre-positioned at the CS Schweiz level are sufficient to result in a significantly lower risk of default on CS Schweiz's senior obligations than the risk of the bank failing. This is unlikely in the medium term, as we would have to conclude that CS Schweiz could reach a higher Long-Term IDR were the buffers in the form of Fitch Core Capital, which is unlikely given the close risk correlation with its parent. Clear requirements on internal buffers at CS Schweiz ensuring their permanence would also be necessary for its Long-Term IDR to be rated above its VR. SUPPORT RATING The Support Rating is sensitive to changes in our assessment of CS's ability to provide extraordinary support to CS Schweiz as well as the importance of CS Schweiz to the rest of the group. Contact: Primary Analyst Claudia Nelson Senior Director +44 20 3530 1191 Fitch Ratings Limited 30 North Colonnade London E14 5GN Secondary Analyst Luis Garrido Analyst +44 20 3530 1631 Committee Chairperson Gordon Scott Managing Director +44 20 3530 1075 Media Relations: Elaine Bailey, London, Tel: +44 203 530 1153, Email: elaine.bailey@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com Applicable Criteria Global Bank Rating Criteria (pub. 15 Jul 2016) here Additional Disclosures Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form here _id=1015112 Solicitation Status here Endorsement Policy here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEB SITE AT WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. 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