Credit Suisse prof­its jump by nearly a quar­ter, helped by pri­vate bank­ing unit

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Swiss bank­ing gi­ant Credit Suisse said Tues­day a strong per­for­mance by its pri­vate bank­ing unit helped first quar­ter net profit rise by 23 per­cent to 1.05 bil­lion Swiss francs (NT$34.224 bil­lion, US$1.1 bil­lion), out­strip­ping fore­casts by an­a­lysts.

Its in­vest­ment bank posted a 14-per­cent rise in pre-tax prof­its to 945 mil­lion francs.

CEO Brady Dougan said that while trad­ing rev­enue was higher than last year, the bank had a “dif­fi­cult start to the year” due to a slow­down in un­der­writ­ing only to ben­e­fit from later volatil­ity in the mar­kets.

The Swiss cen­tral bank shocked do­mes­tic and global mar­kets with its de­ci­sion on Jan. 15 to end three years of ef­forts to hold down the value of the Swiss franc against the euro, send­ing the cur­rency soar­ing.

“Our swift and proac­tive re­sponse to the changed cur­rency and in­ter­est rate en­vi­ron­ment post the Swiss Na­tional Bank’s an­nounce­ment, com­bined with an im­prove­ment in mar- ket ac­tiv­ity, mit­i­gated the im­pact on our re­sults and led to higher rev­enues in our Wealth Man­age­ment Clients busi­ness,” said Dougan.

Dougan will make way for the Fran­coIvo­rian Tid­jane Thiam, now head of the Bri­tish in­surer Pru­den­tial, in June.

In­vestors are bet­ting that Thiam will down­size the bank, Switzer­land’s sec­ond largest, more de­ci­sively to fo­cus on money man­ag­ing busi­nesses, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.

Amer­i­can banks have re­cently re­ported solid first quar­ters thanks to a rise in their bro­ker­age ac­tiv­i­ties, with Mor­gan Stan­ley re­port­ing a 59 rise in prof­its for the first quar­ter, the high­est since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2008.

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