Credit Suisse missed forecast by posting its lowest quarterly profit in 2009 as market conditions toughened, but it continued to attract client flows while rival Swiss bank UBS struggled.
Credit Suisse, which weathered the financial crisis without state aid, has rebounded under the leadership of former investment banker Brady Dougan from its 2008 record loss to post a healthy 6.7 billion Swiss francs ($6.30 billion) net in 2009.
However, the bank's bottom line of 0.8 billion francs in the final quarter was the weakest of all quarters last year and was weaker than UBS' fourth quarter profit.
Dougan said in a statement 2010 had started well. “We have a had a strong start to the quarter with strong client activity. Our transaction pipeline and net new asset flows are the best we have seen since the crisis,” he said.
“We are confident about our prospects for 2010,” he said.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected Credit Suisse to post a 1.3 billion franc profit in the fourth quarter and 7.2 billion franc profit in the full year.
UBS surprised the market on Tuesday when its first quarterly profit in more than a year came in at 1.2 billion francs well above expectations, though the fourth-quarter figure was overshadowed by accelerating outflows from its core wealth-management division.
Credit Suisse' bottom line was hit by a 0.5 billion franc charge following a US settlement for hiding thousands of transactions on behalf of clients from countries subject to US sanctions like Iran.
A recurring accounting loss on own credit to the tune of 300 million francs also took its toll on the Swiss bank's results. (Reuters)