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Earnings

Credit Suisse swings back to first annual profit since 2014

Key Points
  • The bank reported a full-year net profit of 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($ 2.08 billion) for 2018. The Swiss lender reported a net loss of 983 million Swiss francs in 2017.
  • Credit Suisse completed at the end of last year its three-year restructuring program.
VIDEO4:0804:08
Credit Suisse reduced costs to insulate profit from volatile economy, CEO says

Credit Suisse swung back to profit last year for the first time since 2014, despite some challenging market conditions.

The bank reported a full-year net profit of 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($2.08 billion) for 2018. The Swiss lender reported a net loss of 983 million Swiss francs ($975.16 million) in 2017.

For its fourth-quarter, the company reported a net income of 292 million Swiss francs. Analysts were expecting a net income of 224.63 million Swiss francs ($222.82 million) according to Reuters.

Having cleaned the balance sheet, dealt with the main legacy issues, (now) it is about to grow and stay close to our clients.
Tidjane Thiam
CEO, Credit Suisse

Here are some other details:

  • Assets under management rose 2.1 percent year-on-year.
  • CET 1 ratio stood at 12.6 percent at the end of 2018 versus 13.5 percent at the end of 2017.

Credit Suisse completed at the end of last year its three-year restructuring program.

Speaking to CNBC after the results, Tidjane Thiam, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse said: "Having cleaned the balance sheet, dealt with the main legacy issues, (now) it is about to grow and stay close to our clients."

Media reports on Thursday suggested that the Swiss bank could scrap bonuses this year, after losing money in a commodity financing deal in the last quarter of 2018.

Thiam told CNBC that although the total of the bonus pool was flat this year, there were fewer employees - meaning that on average people are likely to get a higher compensation.

"On a per capita basis, actually bonuses are up almost everywhere because you have to remember we have fewer people, the total is flat but it actually represents a reasonably strong increase in a per capital basis," he said.

VIDEO4:0704:07
Credit Suisse returns to profitability after reducing costs and risk

'Limited visibility' on the next 6 or 9 months

Credit Suisse highlighted Thursday that there is a lot of uncertainty on the horizon. The bank mentioned that specific concerns over the U.S. government shutdown, U.S.-China trade relations and Brexit had already impacted the start of 2019, with lower fees.

"There is so much uncertainty, the U.S. trade negotiations, Brexit, etc. … the visibility in the next six, nine months is limited," Thiam told CNBC.