Credit Suisse has 'work to do' on litigation: CEO
Credit Suisse on Thursday reported net profit below analyst forecasts as provisions for litigation weighed on the group.
Net profit for the fourth quarter came in at 267 million Swiss francs ($295 million), lower than a Reuters forecast of 448 million Swiss francs.
The bank took a 339 million Swiss franc provision in the quarter to cover ongoing mortgage litigation and another 175 million Swiss franc provision for a U.S. tax probe into accounts hidden in Switzerland, in which it is working towards a resolution.
Shares of the group closed about 1.5 percent higher on the Swiss stock exchange on Thursday.
Chief executive Brady Dougan insisted that the results reflected a "good, solid fourth quarter" but conceded the group had "continuing work to do" to resolve litigation issues.
"We did see some litigation provisions in the fourth quarter," he told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. "Clearly they did bring down the bottom-line performance but they represent progress towards working through a number of these historical provisions."
Dougan hoped litigation issues could be resolved soon. He said the biggest risk to the bank's outlook in 2014, however, was posed by the markets -- which have seen volatility on the back of tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve -- "and how they develop from here."
"What I would say [we're currently seeing] is a correction in a number of different markets, certainly starting in emerging markets but spilling over into developing markets as well, so we'll see how long that runs. We're still fundamentally, relatively positive to be constructive on the markets in the longer term so we'll see how things develop."
"Results so far this year have been largely consistent with the good starts we have seen in prior years, with some variability across businesses," Dougan said earlier in a press release of the group's earnings.
He was confident the group could achieve its targeted return on equity of 15 percent.
Credit Suisse is in the middle of a cost-cutting drive designed to save 4.5 billion Swiss francs in annual costs by the end of 2015. Dougan said that the program is on track. It had delivered 3.1 billion Swiss francs of expense savings by the end of 2013.
In the third quarter of 2013, the second-largest Swiss bank by market value missed analysts' profit forecasts.
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