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The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen on an office building in Zurich, Switzerland, December 23, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann – RTX2W92S Photo Credit: Reuters

Credit Suisse to slash up to 6,500 jobs after $2.4 bn loss

14 February, 2017

Credit Suisse is to cut up to 6,500 jobs this year after reporting a 2.44 billion Swiss franc ($2.43 billion) net loss for 2016, and said it was examining alternatives to a planned stock market listing of its Swiss business.

Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, who took over at Switzerland’s second biggest bank just over 18 months ago, is shifting the group more toward wealth management and putting less emphasis on investment banking.

As part of his turnaround plans, the bank is looking to cut billions of dollars in costs and cut a net 7,250 jobs in 2016 with more to follow this year.

“We’re setting a target now of between 5,500 and 6,500 for 2017,” Chief Financial Officer David Mathers said in a call with analysts on Tuesday after the bank published earnings.

The bank did not specify where the extra cuts would come but said this would include contractors, consultants and staff.

Credit Suisse said it was still preparing sell 20-30 percent of its Swiss business in an initial public offering but left the door open to alternative options to strengthen its balance sheet. It said a flotation depended on market conditions and board approval.

“So we will continue as planned our preparations for an IPO in the second half of ’17,” Thiam told analysts on the call.

“That said, we will also continue to analyze the evolution of our regulatory environment which is key in this and, as we always do, continuously examine a broad range of options to determine if there are ways to reach a more attractive risk/reward outcome for our shareholders.”

Steady dividend

For the fourth quarter, Credit Suisse reported a 2.35 billion franc net loss, largely on the back of a roughly $2 billion charge to settle U.S. claims the bank misled investors in the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities..

The average estimate in Reuters poll of analysts was for a quarterly net loss of 2.01 billion francs.

Nevertheless, Credit Suisse proposed an unchanged dividend of 0.70 francs per share, in line with market expectations.

Shares were up around 3 percent in early trading, ahead of the broader European banking index.

“Capital ratios were much better than expected. On a divisional level, results in IWM (International Wealth Management) and IBCM (Investment banking and Capital Markets) were better than expected,” Vontobel analyst Andreas Venditti, who has a “hold” rating on the stock, wrote in a note.

In wealth management, Credit Suisse said it suffered net outflows in the fourth quarter due to clients pulling cash to participate in tax amnesty programs and a decision to drop certain external asset managers.

The bank said all its wealth management divisions had seen positive inflows year to date.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Credit Suisse’s common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, an important measure of balance sheet strength, was 11.6 percent, down from 12 percent in the third quarter but ahead of market expectations.

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Credit Suisse to slash up to 6,500 jobs after $2.4 bn loss

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