Credit Suisse reports CHF2.1 billion first quarter loss


Credit Suisse reports CHF2.1 billion first quarter loss
Credit Suisse has reported a net loss of CHF2.1 billion (£1 billion) in the first quarter of 2008 on write-downs of CHF5.3 billion (£2.6 billion).

The loss compares with a year-previous profit of CHF2.7 billion (£1.3 billion). Net revenues were CHF3 billion (£1.5 billion), down 72 per cent from last year.

Chief executive Brady Dougan said the results were "unsatisfactory" but added: "Credit Suisse remains well positioned in an extremely challenging environment; our capital position is strong and we will continue to manage our liquidity conservatively and control our expenses effectively.

"I am confident we will continue to serve as a safe haven for clients in uncertain and volatile markets, and to seize the opportunities that arise in times of market dislocation to create long-term value."

Credit Suisse's tier 1 ratio was 9.8 per cent as of March 31st, 2008, the bank said.

The Swiss bank said apart from the subprime-related losses, results were solid. Strong performances were recorded in the foreign exchange business and in emerging markets, according to Credit Suisse.

But the bank's equity trading and underwriting and advisory businesses declined in a weaker market.

Total operating expenses fell 38 per cent from the first quarter of 2007, as bonuses and pay growth fell in light of the negative results.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse also said it has reduced its exposure to leveraged finance over the quarter by 41 per cent from the end of the fourth quarter of 2007.

Rival European bank UBS reported a CHF12 billion (£6.05 billion) net loss after write-downs of approximately $19 billion (£9.6 billion) on US real estate and related structured credit positions.

In the US, Wall Street banks including Merrill Lynch and Citigroup have also been forced to write off billions in their first quarter.

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