Credit Suisse investment bank reports strong quarter

City A.M. Reporter
Credit Suisse reported record first-quarter investment banking revenue that beat forecasts as a hiring spree helped it gain market share and client activity rose.

Switzerland's second-largest bank said on Wednesday investment bank revenues rose to a record $5.4bn (£3.2bn) from $5bn a year ago, although in Swiss francs they slipped six per cent to 4.9 billion francs ($5.57bn) as the dollar fell.

"If you look at our U.S. peers, our numbers stand us in very good stead," chief financial officer David Mathers said.

The first quarter is typically the strongest period for investment banking and can set the tone for the year, but U.S. bank results lagged well below the bumper levels of a year ago as activity was hampered by North African political turmoil, Japan's earthquake and economic wobbles in the eurozone.

Chief executive Brady Dougan said the results showed his investment in fixed income trading had begun to bear fruit.

"We have substantial momentum across all of our client-based businesses and we remain well prepared to continue to capitalise on our improved market position," he said.

"Our pipeline in underwriting and advisory remains strong and we are well positioned to capture increases in issuance levels and M&A activity."

Dougan's strategy to hire investment bankers aggressively early in 2010 had initially backfired as markets flattened.

"The results are slightly ahead of expectations," said Cheuvreux analyst Christian Stark. "The main strength is investment banking, which is about eight per cent ahead of expectations on a strong fixed income performance."