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Credit Suisse posts loss despite IB boost

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Credit Suisse Group AG said heavy legal burdens pushed it to a loss in the fourth quarter, even as a rebound in investment banking lifted other parts of the bank’s operations.

On Thursday, the Swiss bank reported a loss of 353 million Swiss francs, or nearly $ 393 million, for the fourth quarter. Analysts expected a loss of around 566 million Swiss francs.

Even in a difficult year, Credit Suisse fared better than many European competitors, as its loans to Switzerland and to the world’s wealthy weathered the pandemic. Along with its Wall Street rivals, its investment bank recorded windfall fees from clients trading in the moving markets of the past year and from companies raising capital or needing transaction advice. On Thursday, he said his investment banking division made a pre-tax profit of $ 318 million in the fourth quarter, the largest contribution to income from trading in stocks and bonds.

Fourth-quarter profit before tax also increased in Credit Suisse’s Asia-Pacific division, by 18% to 237 million Swiss francs, while revenue and profit before tax fell at its Swiss bank and its international wealth management unit.

It has been a tumultuous year for Switzerland’s second-largest bank in terms of assets, after rival UBS Group AG. In February, its board ousted chief executive Tidjane Thiam over a spy scandal and replaced him with veteran bank Thomas Gottstein. A leading client in China, Luckin Coffee Inc., exposed a potential accounting fraud in April, while another suspected fraud, at Wirecard AG in June, exposed a billion dollar lifeline that Credit Suisse has arranged.

A year after starting his post, Mr Gottstein said he wanted to tackle legacy disputes and be more disciplined to avoid further lawsuits.

The fourth quarter loss was due to an $ 850 million legal charge announced by the bank in December for sales of toxic securities before the 2008 financial crisis. It also reported a $ 450 million write-down on the bank. value of a stake in investment manager York Capital Management.

Litigation provisions for the quarter were 757 million Swiss francs, or approximately $ 842 million, while York’s depreciation was 414 million Swiss francs, or approximately $ 460 million.

Write to Margot Patrick at [email protected]

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