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Credit Suisse posts loss on impairment, trading downturn
[ZURICH] Credit Suisse Group AG swung to a loss in the fourth quarter as it wrote off billions of dollars in goodwill, set aside provisions for litigation and booked a multi-billion-dollar loss in its main trading unit.
The bank gave up 5.83 billion Swiss francs (S$8.2 billion) during the final, rocky months of 2015, including a 3.8 billion-franc impairment that exacerbated its quarterly loss.
Analysts were expecting a loss of 4.3 billion francs, the average of five estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Credit Suisse posted a profit of 691 million francs for the fourth quarter of 2014.
Credit Suisse reported earnings Thursday for the first time since it was reorganized under a plan to prioritize wealth management and shrink its securities unit. As the bank embarked on its new mission, markets were convulsed by volatility that deterred clients from trading, undermining profitability.
The global markets division, one of five new units, booked a pretax loss of 3.47 billion francs.
"Given the particularly challenging environment we face, we decided in the fourth quarter to accelerate the implementation of our cost-savings program across the bank, " chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam said.
He said the bank would accelerate plans to cut 4,000 jobs and save 500 million francs a year.
The bank proposed a dividend of 70 centimes per share with an option for shareholders to get stock instead.