Second consecutive loss for Credit Suisse

Switzerland’s second biggest bank reports $311m loss after writedowns on trading positions

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank has reported a net loss of 302 million Swiss francs ($311 million) in the three months through March, compared with a profit of 1.05 billion francs a year ago. (Photograph: WALTER BIERI/EPA)

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank has reported a net loss of 302 million Swiss francs ($311 million) in the three months through March, compared with a profit of 1.05 billion francs a year ago. (Photograph: WALTER BIERI/EPA)

 

Credit Suisse Group recorded a second consecutive loss after a tumultuous start to the year led to further writedowns on trading positions and prompted deeper cuts in its investment bank.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank on Tuesday reported a net loss of 302 million Swiss francs ($311 million) in the three months through March, compared with a profit of 1.05 billion francs a year ago.

Credit Suisse is downsizing its investment bank to free up capital for developing its wealth management business, particularly in emerging markets like the Asia-Pacific region. Chief executive Tidjane Thiam accelerated the overhaul in March, disclosing more markdowns on high-risk securities already blamed for a bigger-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter.

“The market was largely shut down in January and February owing to concerns over global growth, oil and expanding markets implementing negative rates,” analysts at Macquarie led by Piers Brown, who has an outperform on Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients before Tuesday’s results.

Credit Suisse is seeking relief from post-crisis regulations requiring more capital to backstop riskier activities. Deutsche Bank and Barclays, both also in the midst of restructuring, are likewise scaling back some trading activities, while UBS Group pivoted to wealth management more than three years ago.The trading losses compounded doubts about Thiam’s strategy, with the bank among lenders hardest hit by an industry-wide selloff.

Credit Suisse has lost 38 per cent of its value this year, the most in a group of 10 global peers tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence. Deutsche Bank has dropped 35 per cent, while UBS has lost 22 per cent.

Bloomberg