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Second Swiss bank loses billions

  • Story Highlights
  • Switzerland's Credit Suisse reports losses of $7.1 billion for 2008
  • Country's second largest bank loses $5.2 billion in last quarter of the year
  • UBS on Tuesday posted worse-than-expected loss of nearly $17 billion
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(CNN) -- Switzerland's Credit Suisse has joined the list of banks revealing disastrous results for 2008 after it reported losses of $7.1 billion (8.2 billion Swiss francs).

The country's second largest bank lost 6 billion Swiss francs in the last quarter of the year alone, the bank said Wednesday. The figures compare with a $6.7 billion profit for 2007.

The bank's losses were revealed a day after UBS posted a worse than expected loss of nearly $17 billion -- the largest ever by a Swiss group -- and announced 1,600 new job cuts.

Credit Suisse's chief executive Brady Dougan said the firm was working hard to remove risk from the business and had made a strong start to this year.

"While our full-year results are clearly disappointing, we entered 2009 with a very strong capital position, a robust business model, a clear strategy and well-positioned businesses," Dougan said.

"We have positioned our businesses to be less susceptible to negative market trends if they persist in the coming months and to prosper when markets recover."

Last year Credit Suisse cut more than 7,000 jobs, mainly from its investment banking division.

The Swiss government said it would pour 6 billion francs into banking giant UBS in October. UBS announced at the time that it would transfer up to $60 billion of illiquid assets off its books and onto those of the Swiss National Bank. Illiquid assets are ones that cannot be sold easily, or without substantial loss.

But Credit Suisse declined to take government money, instead raising approximately 10 billion francs ($8.26 billion) from from a group of international investors led by the Qatar Investment Authority.

The bank said it decided not to participate in the government's bailout plan because it had a low level of affected assets in its portfolio and good access to capital markets.

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