Credit Suisse boosts profits on trading surge

Credit Suisse benefited from a surge in trading and the Swiss domestic market’s resilience to the coronavirus pandemic to increase pre-tax income for the second quarter by 19 per cent compared to a year earlier.

The Swiss bank also announced sweeping changes to its structure as new chief executive Thomas Gottstein set about putting his mark on the business.

The group reported pre-tax income of SFr1.6bn ($1.75bn) for the quarter. Its domestic wealth management business and global markets units provided the bulk of the group’s revenues, while its investment banking and capital markets division beat analyst expectations and returned to profit.

Having booked SFr568m of provisions for bad loans in the first quarter, Credit Suisse added SFr296m in the second quarter.

Mr Gottstein said: “In a continued volatile market environment, we delivered a strong performance. Despite persistent challenges caused by Covid-19, our employees again showed outstanding commitment and dedication.”

As part of the restructuring, the group announced a new investment banking division, combining its previous global markets, investment banking and capital markets and Asia-Pacific markets business lines. The division will be led by Brian Chin, formerly head of global markets, while David Miller, who previously led IBCM, steps down from the executive board and will head the capital markets and advisory businesses within the investment bank.

Credit Suisse also combined its risk and compliance divisions, headed by former chief risk officer Lara Warner, while Lydie Hudson, who had been chief compliance officer, stays on the executive board to lead a new sustainability, research and investment unit.

Announcing the changes, Mr Gottstein said: “These initiatives should also help to provide resilience in uncertain markets and deliver further upside when more positive economic conditions prevail.”