Credit Suisse slashes costs to boost earnings

 
Tim Wallace
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CREDIT Suisse will slash spending on its interest trading arm, the investment bank said yesterday, as revenues at the unit fell in the third quarter.

The Swiss bank saw profits jump sharply in the quarter, but the gains came from cost cutting rather than improved revenues.

Net income rose to SFr454m (£314.5m), up 79 per cent on the SFr254m in the third quarter of 2012.

Revenues at the bank fell 1.4 per cent to SFr5.69bn, while operating expenses came in at SFr4.75bn, down 11 per cent on the year.

Pay and benefits fell 17 per cent to SFr2.5bn on lower performance-related pay and falling headcount – the bank had 46,400 staff at the end of the third quarter, down 2,000 on the year.

Operating profits in the private banking and wealth management arm remained the bank’s mainstay, holding steady at SFr2.27bn in the quarter.

Asset management pre-tax profits rose 20 per cent to SFr268m.

But investment banking revenues tumbled 53 per cent to SFr229m.

“Recent developments, such as the heightened regulatory focus on leverage and the migration of market structure towards cleared and electronic trading, make it prudent to adapt our rates business model,” said chief Brady Dougan. “As part of this shift, we are restructuring and simplifying our rates business in order to increase returns.”

Return on equity attributable to shareholders increased from 2.9 per cent a year ago to 4.3 per cent in the third quarter. And its core tier one capital ratio slid from 18.5 per cent to 17 per cent.