Credit Suisse posts record Sfr8bn losses

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The Independent Online

Another day, another unwanted record for the Swiss banking community. Just 24 hours after UBS posted the country's highest annual corporate loss, Credit Suisse revealed its own worst ever numbers, as losses in 2008 hit Sfr8.2bn (£4.9bn).

Credit Suisse's chief executive, Brady Dougan, admitted that the results were "clearly disappointing", following the revenue collapse at its investment banking division. He added that the bank faced 2009 with renewed confidence.

The terrible results were compounded by a worse-than-expected last three months of the year, described by analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods as "a horrible quarter". Losses between September and December soared to Sfr6bn, outstripping market expectations of -Sfr3.7bn.

The investment banking arm was responsible for pre-tax losses of Sfr14.1bn in 2008, a staggering turnaround from the Sfr3.64bn profit the previous year. Over half the losses came in the fourth quarter "as the widespread market disruption intensified". The division saw billions wiped off its bottom line following writedowns in the leveraged finance and derivatives businesses. It was also hit by "significant losses" from ineffective hedged positions and the widening of credit spreads.

The division is set to be overhauled as the bank seeks to cut risky operations. It has also heavily reduced its exposure to risky assets. The bank has slashed bonuses by 60 per cent to a Sfr2bn pool.