Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Credit Suisse announces big losses, more job cuts

Jeannie Matthews | 15 February, 2017, 00:58

Credit Suisse expects to reduce net headcount between 5,500 and 6,500 across the bank in order to lower operating costs to no more than 18.5 billion Swiss francs by the end of 2017 from 19.4 billion at the end of previous year. Total operating expenses of 19.4 billion francs for the year were below the bank's target of 19.8 billion francs.

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-biggest bank, said Tuesday it booked a net loss of 2.4 billion Swiss francs (2.2 billion euros, $2.3 billion) in 2016, after agreeing to a massive settlement with the United States authorities last month over its role in the so-called sub-prime crisis in 2008.

Back in December, Credit Suisse announced an additional round of cuts in Switzerland, as well as plans to restructure its business in order to return to profitability after losing close to $3 billion.

During the same quarter of 2015, Credit Suisse posted a heftier loss of CHF5.8 billion due to restructuring costs associated with its pullback from investment banking.

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Credit Suisse, which confirmed it will pay a dividend of CHF0.70 per share, in line with market expectations, also reiterated plans to sell a stake between 20% and 30% in its Swiss business in an initial public offering. Establishment which owns 115 million shares in the company valued at $1.50 B million.

The news comes just one month after Credit Suisse's CEO Tidjane Thiam had championed a comeback for banks in 2017. But it slashed overall headcount - including "contingent workers" like information technology specialists - by 7,200 a year ago.

"2016 was the first full year of implementing our new strategy and it was a challenging and busy 12 months", he said. "Thanks to our strong client franchise and the dedication of our teams, we have made good progress on our key objectives".

Overall, depending on market fluctuations, 2017 looks "positive", he told a conference.

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