Credit Suisse ends 2021 with big loss

Keystone / Steffen Schmidt

Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second biggest bank, has capped a tumultuous period by posting a fourth-quarter net loss of CHF2 billion ($2.17 billion) and a full-year net loss of CHF1.57 billion.

This content was published on February 10, 2022 - 09:58

The 2021 annual loss compares with a CHF2.7 billion profit in 2020.

The bank’s net revenues fell by 12% in the final quarter compared with a year earlier, as revenue at its investment bank dropped 31%. Meanwhile, operating expenses rose 20% in the period, it reportedExternal link on Thursday.

The bank said it took “major litigation provisions” of CHF1.1 billion in 2021.

'Challenging year'

It was a bad year for the Swiss bank, marked by the collapse of $10 billion in supply chain finance funds linked to British finance firm Greensill and a $5.5 billion trading loss from the implosion of investment fund Archegos. At the start of this year, chair António Horta-Osório also resigned over Covid-19 quarantine breaches in England and Switzerland.

Thomas Gottstein, Credit Suisse chief executive, said 2021 had been a “very challenging year” for the bank.

“Our reported financial results were negatively impacted by the Archegos matter, the impairment of goodwill relating to the [Wall Street investment bank] Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) acquisition in 2000 and litigation provisions, as we look to proactively resolve legacy issues,” he said.

Last month Credit Suisse warned that its investment bank would report a loss for the quarter following a slowdown in trading revenues and CHF500 million provision to cover litigation issues.

“During the last three quarters of 2021, the bank was run with a constrained risk appetite across all divisions as we took decisive actions to strengthen our overall risk and controls foundation and continued our remediation efforts, including on the supply chain finance funds matter, where our priority is to return cash to investors,” said Gottstein in a statement.

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