Credit Suisse (CS) has reported its biggest annual loss since the financial crisis in 2008, highlighting the scale of the challenge facing the scandal-plagued Swiss bank as it attempts a turnaround.
The lender on Thursday posted a loss of 1.4 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2022, extending a losing streak that started in 2021 and taking its full-year loss to 7.3 billion Swiss francs ($7.9 billion). In 2008, Credit Suisse made a loss of 8.2 billion Swiss francs ($8.9 billion).
The bank’s shares fell 5% in early trade. The stock has plunged 65% over the past 12 months but is up 12% so far in 2023.
Credit Suisse said in a statement that the fourth-quarter performance was impacted by “the challenging economic and market environment, significant deposit and net asset outflows at the beginning of the quarter and the execution of our strategic actions.” It added that it expected to make another “substantial loss” in 2023.
Customers withdrew 111 billion Swiss francs ($121 billion) in the final three months of 2022, when the bank was hit by social media speculation that it was on the brink of collapse.
The rumors, which sparked a selloff in the shares, followed a series of missteps and compliance failures that have cost the bank dearly.
For example, the collapse of US hedge fund Archegos Capital Management, a client of Credit Suisse, in 2021 cost the bank $5.5 billion. An independent external investigation later found “a failure to effectively manage risk.”
Credit Suisse has since embarked on a major restructuring plan that entails cutting 9,000 full-time jobs, spinning off its investment bank and focusing on wealth management.
In a step towards this, the company announced Thursday the acquisition of M. Klein & Company, an investment banking business.
Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Körner said the deal “marks another milestone in the carve-out of CS First Boston as a leading independent capital markets and advisory business.”
The bank also announced that it had finalized the first stage of the deal to sell its securitized products group to Apollo Global Management, which is expected to conclude in the first half of this year.
“We have a clear plan to create a new Credit Suisse and intend to continue to deliver on our three-year strategic transformation by reshaping our portfolio, reallocating capital, right-sizing our cost base, and building on our leading franchises.” Körner said in the statement.
— Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.