20 October 2020
Policies to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and fiscal and monetary stimulus to counteract associated economic impacts have been effective in mitigating the economic contraction and stabilizing economies, although with significant variation across countries and regions. However, recent increases in COVID-19 cases create renewed uncertainty, which could affect the path of recovery. The growth outlook and investor sentiment may also be affected by increasing geopolitical tensions and political uncertainties. The range of possible outcomes remains wide, making reliable predictions difficult.
The majority of our credit exposures are either with our Global Wealth Management clients or in Switzerland, and are of high quality. The rebound of markets and the effective crisis management measures in Switzerland have helped to further mitigate the risk in our credit exposures. As a result, at this stage, it is reasonable to expect credit loss expense in the fourth quarter of 2020 to remain markedly lower than in the first half of the year. Our ongoing growth initiatives and other actions to drive net interest income should offset US dollar interest rate headwinds. Going forward, the pandemic and political uncertainties may lead to periods of higher market volatility and could affect client activity positively or negatively.
We remain focused on supporting our employees, clients and the economies in which we operate while executing our strategic plans and maintaining our disciplined approach to managing risks across the firm.