Credit Suisse on Tuesday reported a smaller-than-expected net loss of 302 million Swiss francs ($311 million) in the three months through March — its second consecutive quarterly loss. In the same period last year, the Swiss company had reported a profit of 1.05 billion francs.
Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest lender after UBS, also reported a core pretax loss of 484 million francs in the quarter, compared to a reported pretax profit of 1.51 billion francs in the year-ago period when a strong performance from Credit Suisse’s investment bank boosted its earnings. The lender also posted net revenue of 4.64 billion francs, down from 6.65 billion francs in the first quarter of 2015.
“The overall results for the Group reflect challenges in the global economy that created unique pressures for the finance industry — January and February were very challenging months for international financial markets,” Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam and chairman of Credit Suisse’s board of directors, Urs Rohner, said in a letter to the shareholders. “However, these results also contain clear indications that our strategy is gaining traction in our chosen markets in Asia Pacific, International Wealth Management and Switzerland.”
In recent months, the Zurich-based lender has moved to slimming its volatile investment banking unit to free up capital for its wealth-management business. In March, after reporting larger-than-expected losses in the fourth quarter in its business that trades bonds, the bank announced it would reduce the risk-weighted assets allocated to the investment banking unit and axe 2,000 jobs in its global markets division.
In a statement released Tuesday, Credit Suisse said it had, as of May 10, eliminated 3,500 jobs out of its full-year groupwide reduction target of 6,000. Additionally, it said it had achieved more than half of its full-year cost reduction target of 1.4 billion francs.
“In the first three months of the year, we have remained focused on executing our strategy with three clear priorities: accelerating our cost and headcount reduction efforts, delivering profitable growth in wealth management focused divisions and maintaining our strong capital position,” Thiam said in the statement. “We have been able to make good progress in all of these areas against an extremely challenging market backdrop.”