Credit Suisse joins bumper profits haul

Credit Suisse became the latest banking giant to rack up strong profits yesterday, although its shares fell on fears that rivals may gate-crash the party.<br /><br />The Swiss bank posted a net profit of Sfr2.4bn (&pound;1.4bn) in the three months to September, its best quarter this year and comfortably above analysts&rsquo; expectations of Sfr1.6bn.<br /><br />Buoyant financial markets and improved market share in investment banking helped boost the results, which followed strong earnings at US investment banking rivals JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.<br /><br />The group&rsquo;s investment banking unit boosted third-quarter pre-tax profit by five per cent to Sfr1.7bn (&pound;1.02bn) against the second quarter.<br /><br />Credit Suisse, which managed without state aid in the credit crisis, was optimistic despite the recession.<br /><br />&ldquo;If markets remain constructive, we expect to be able to maintain our momentum,&rdquo; chief executive Brady Dougan said.<br /><br />Analysts welcomed the results, but questioned how long the good times would last in the face of a renewed challenge from investment banking rivals.<br /><br />Heleva analyst Peter Thorne said: &ldquo;Whilst the good investment banking results were no fluke, investors will continue to ask how sustainable the good margins are likely to be once competitors re-enter the markets with force.&rdquo;<br /><br />The shares have outperformed those of rivals UBS and Deutsche Bank in the year to date, but shares in the group fell 3.5 per cent to Sfr57.95 yesterday. <br /><br />Credit Suisse posted the results two days after unveiling a new pay structure, increasing executive salaries to make up for new regulatory limits on bonuses. <br /><br />The changes, including plans to link deferred bonuses to performance and the share price, will take effect from January and apply to about 7,000 staff &ndash; 15 per cent of the bank&rsquo;s workforce.