Credit Suisse has finally received regulatory approval from China to launch a full-fledged wealth management business, ending years of waiting for the Swiss bank. This development marks a significant step forward for Credit Suisse's expansion into the world's second-biggest economy.

Reuters has received an internal corporate memo which states that Credit Suisse Securities (China), the company's joint venture in China, has just obtained an investment consultant license allowing it to develop and sell equity research products onshore and provide investment advice services.

The lender expanded despite worldwide wealth outflows in the fourth quarter of 92.7 billion Swiss francs ($98.29 billion), which was worse than projected.

The document, which was confirmed by a corporate representative, reveals that the Swiss bank intends to launch its wealth business in China by the first half of this year, with an eye on the country's 27 trillion yuan market.

Also, the company was granted permission to engage in proprietary trading, and its brokerage license was expanded so that it can now service customers across China rather than just in the southern city of Shenzhen.

The head of wealth management for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, Benjamin Cavalli, has stated that the company "plans to double the number of relationship managers in China in 2023." However, he did not specify how many relationship managers Credit Suisse presently employs in China.

The increase in the number of wealthy employees stands in stark contrast to the layoffs it announced in November, which were the result of a global restructuring that had been underway since October and had resulted in spinoffs and job cutbacks.

According to Reuters' sources, roughly half of its research department, which is situated in Hong Kong and China, was affected by the transfer.

Credit Suisse's wealth management sector saw its total assets decrease to 540.5 billion Swiss francs at the end of last year, from 742.6 billion francs at the end of the previous year.

The bank has started offering deposit rates that are significantly higher than those offered by its rivals. The new rates are aimed at attracting high-net-worth individuals and family offices in Asia who are seeking safe and reliable investment options.

The move comes as many investors are looking for alternative options to traditional savings accounts, which offer low interest rates. Credit Suisse's higher deposit rates could provide a solution for these investors, who are looking for better returns on their funds.

Credit Suisse has a strong presence in Asia, and the region has been a key focus for the bank in recent years. The bank has been investing heavily in its operations in Asia, including expanding its wealth management business and building new digital platforms.