Credit Suisse slumps to Q4 loss
By Katharina Bart
ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse CSGN.VX posted a surprise fourth-quarter net loss as its investment bank struggled and it took almost 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.1 billion) of charges as it slashes costs and risky assets to meet stiffer capital rules.
"Our performance for the fourth quarter 2011 was disappointing," said Chief Executive Brady Dougan.
"It reflects both the adverse market conditions during the period and the impact of the measures we have taken to swiftly adapt our business to the evolving market and regulatory requirements."
Credit Suisse shares, which had risen 14 percent this year, were down 2.1 percent to 24.71 francs by 0924 GMT, underperforming a 1.0 percent firmer European banking sector .
The bank said the charge of 981 million francs was due to the accelerated implementation of a risk reduction plan, steps to exit unprofitable businesses and expenses due to the rapid execution of cost cutting programs.
"We were keen to get this done and clear the decks in terms of the trading for 2012," Credit Suisse financial chief David Mathers told journalists.
The charge pushed Credit Suisse into a quarterly net loss of 637 million francs - its first quarterly loss in three years - missing average analyst expectations for a profit of 430 million. Credit Suisse also proposed nearly halving its dividend to 0.75 Swiss francs per share, from 1.30 francs in 2010.
Stripping out the charge, analysts said underlying performance was still disappointing, particularly the slump in revenues from fixed income sales and trading in the investment bank as well as lower profitability in private banking. Continued...