Credit Suisse hit by Sfr8.2bn loss for 2008

Despite remaining profitable in private banking, corporate and retail banking, and wealth management, its investment bank recorded Q4 writedowns of Sfr3.2 billion and substantial trading losses.

The investment banking business sustained a Q4 net loss of Sfr7.8 billion - compared with a hit of Sfr849 million for Q4 2007 - while net revenues declined from positive Sfr2.7 billion to negative Sfr4.6 billion over the same period. Investment banking losses for 2008 totalled Sfr14.2 billion.

Equity trading, in particular, was adversely affected, with losses of Sfr886 million on structured products; Sfr929 million in the corporate and flow derivatives business; and Sfr1 billion in convertibles.

In fixed-income trading, there was a higher net valuation decline of Sfr3.5 billion in the bank's combined strutured products and leveraged finance business, as well as losses of Sfr1 billion from its emerging markets businesses. Losses on leveraged finance trading totalled Sfr451 million, the US loan business had a deficit of Sfr362 million, and there were net value reductions of Sfr457 million on Credit Suisse's non-subprime collateralised debt obligation (CDO) business.

Total exposure to subprime CDOs and residential mortgage-backed securities amounted to Sfr5.1 billion. The investment bank trimmed its workforce by 1,600 to 19,700 over the quarter, and stated it aims to further downsize to 17,500 by the end of 2009.

Despite the losses, however, the bank was keen to underline its strong tier-one capital ratio of 13.3%, up from 10.4% at the end of Q3.

In a written statement, Brady Dougan, chief executive, commented: "While our full-year results are clearly disappointing, we entered 2009 with a very strong capital position. We now have a capital-efficient and streamlined investment banking business with a significantly lower risk profile."

Shares in Credit Suisse trading on the Swiss Stock exchange rose marginally this morning, from an opening price of Sfr29.20 to Sfr30.26 as of 11.30 GMT.

See also: Q4 loss of Sfr8.1 billion for UBS;
Deutsche hit by €1.7 billion equity derivatives losses in Q4

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