Credit Suisse posts third-straight annual loss

Tidjane Thiam chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Group

Tidjane Thiam chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Group Getty Images

Credit Suisse reported a 2017 full year loss of CHF983 million, that's below expectations of around a CHF1.1 billion loss.

Credit Suisse on Wednesday posted a smaller-than-expected 2017 loss of 983 million Swiss francs ($1.05 billion) as a 2.3 billion franc writedown triggered by US tax reform kept the bank from its first year in the black since CEO Tidjane Thiam launched a turnaround plan in 2015. Based on the pickup in activity early this year, the Swiss bank might be in for better times.

Net revenues in the region declined 3 percent to 3.5 billion Swiss francs. The bank said it will pay shareholders 0.25 francs per share for past year despite the loss. The bank attributed this drop to lower fixed income and equity sales as well as lower trading revenue at the markets business.

The repositioning aims to reduce the volatility of the group's results, as merchant banking activities are more sensitive to market turmoil than asset management.

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The bank was upbeat on its outlook, with Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam saying that "our strategy is working" as it enters the final year of a three-year restructuring plan.

Credit Suisse also provided a glimpse into its business already in 2018, pointing to revenue growth in the double digits in percentage terms in the first six weeks of the year. This unit saw an increase of 13 percent year-on-year for its assets under management.

In the last four months of the year, net losses were 2.1 billion Swiss francs, slightly less than forecast by analysts interviewed by Swiss agency AWP who had predicted a figure of around 2.2 billion.

The Board of Directors will propose to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on April 27, 2018, that a distribution of CHF 0.25 per share be paid out of capital contribution reserves for the financial year 2017.

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