Credit Suisse back in the black in Q4, aided by cost cuts


Fri, Feb 08, 2013 - Page 15

Credit Suisse Group yesterday posted a profit for the fourth quarter of 397 million Swiss francs (US$435 million), a turnaround from a year ago that reflected a tough year of cost-cutting and consolidation.

Brady Dougan, chief executive officer of Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, said in a statement that last year was “a year of transition,” as the bank struggled with tough market conditions and made aggressive cuts in costs and risks, while meeting new requirements that it hold more capital.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Zurich-based bank reported a net loss of SF637 million, its first fourth-quarter net loss since 2008.

Credit Suisse also reported full-year results that showed a net profit of SF1.483 billion, a 24 percent drop from SF1.953 billion in 2011.

With a global staff of about 47,400 and SF924 million in assets as of the fourth quarter, the bank is on the list of the 29 “global systemically important banks” that the Bank for International Settlements — the Basel, Switzerland-based central bank for central banks — considers too big to fail.

However, the latest financial results, posted before the opening of the Zurich exchange, also show that the total assets managed by Credit Suisse in the fourth quarter represented a 12 percent decrease from SF1.05 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2011. The bank also reported shedding 2,300 jobs during that time.

“We took significant steps to adapt our businesses and our organization to new regulatory requirements, changing client demands and the current market environment,” Dougan said.

He also raised the bank’s cost-cutting program by SF400 million by the end of 2015, coming on top of SF4 billion of reductions that have been previously announced since 2011.

Credit Suisse closed at SF27 on the Zurich exchange on Wednesday, up almost 20 percent since the start of the year.