Credit Suisse introducing measures to deal with strong franc

Swiss bank Credit Suisse on Thursday outlined measures to deal with the strong Swiss franc, as fourth-quarter net profit beat analysts' estimates.

Like many big Swiss companies, Credit Suisse holds aconsiderable portion of assets, and derives revenue, in euros, dollars and other currencies, but reports in Swiss francs, raising its exposure to exchange rate movements following the franc's surge last month.

"Based on 2014 earnings, we estimate the net adverse impact on our profit to be approximately 3 percent and expect to more than offset this impact through the announced measures by end-2017," Credit Suisse Chief Executive Brady Dougan said in a statement.

The bank plans to slash costs further following the Swiss central bank's decision to allow the currency to float freely, in part by lowering bonuses this year and moving support jobs out of high-cost Switzerland.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse also said it expects up to 100 million francs of higher forex trading volume annually, because clients will seek currency hedges from the bank under the current conditions.

Credit Suisse private banking
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The bank said it had cut bonuses by 9 percent in 2014, after agreeing to pay more than $2.5 billion in penalties for helping Americans evade taxes, and that its board of directors and executive board had taken a voluntary pay cut of 25 percent.

Credit Suisse said net profit for the last three months of 2014 was 921 million Swiss francs ($991.07 million), far exceeding expectations of 663 million francs in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Credit Suisse said it had recorded net outflows in the fourth quarter of 3 billion francs from its private banking and wealth management business.

Its wealth management business brought in 4.4 billion francs in net new assets.

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