Credit Suisse reports $1.71 bn profit in first quarter

Geneva, April 23 (Inditop) Banking giant Credit Suisse Group reported Thursday a net profit of 2 billion Swiss francs ($1.71 billion) in the first quarter of 2009, in part owing to a recovery of its trading unit.

Last year’s first quarter saw the bank lose 2.15 billion francs.

The investment banking segment reported income before taxes of 2.41 billion francs in the first quarter of 2009, compared with a 3.42 billion franc-loss last year.

Credit Suisse said it “achieved a significant increase in market share in key client businesses” in its investment banking sector and had net new assets of 11.4 billion francs of which 9 billion francs were from its wealth management unit.

However, the wealth management division reported income before taxes of 646 million francs, down 25 percent from the prior-year period, as assets shrunk due to the financial collapse and investors became more wary.

“We will continue to judiciously invest in growth, both globally and in our Swiss businesses,” said Brady Dougan, Chief Executive Officer, who noted he was “pleased” with the results.

“We remain optimistic about the prospects for Credit Suisse,” Dougan said in a statement, but added that market volatility could still affect the bank’s business.

Credit Suisse said it also strengthened its capital position and that it had a tier 1 ratio of 14.1 percent. Tier 1 capital is a key way for regulators to judge a bank’s position.

The bank also announced some shake-ups in its risk management division.

Credit Suisse’s main Swiss competitor, UBS, said it would likely report losses of 2 billion francs in its first quarter report which comes out next month, largely on writedowns and outflows of capital.