Credit Suisse warned on Wednesday of a likely group-wide second-quarter loss as volatility hits its investment bank, extending a losing streak stretching back to 2021.
Switzerland’s second-largest bank has described 2022 as a “transition” year, in which it is trying to turn the page on costly scandals that brought ousters and a near-total reshuffle of top management as well as a restructuring seeking to curtail risk-taking, particularly in its investment bank.
The lender said in a statement that the investment bank was likely to lead to a group-wide loss in the second quarter due to the Russia-Ukraine war and significant monetary tightening, which it said had led to weak customer flows and client reducing their borrowings, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The impact of these conditions, together with continued low levels of capital markets issuance and the widening in credit spreads, have depressed the financial performance of this division in April and May and are likely to lead to a loss for this division as well as a loss for the Group in the second quarter of 2022.”
It, however, did not give an estimate of the second-quarter loss.
Shares were indicated opening down 3.3% in pre-market trading.
Credit Suisse Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein is scheduled to present on Thursday at the Goldman Sachs European Financials Conference, where heads of European banks will be providing further insight into how the ongoing war, spiking energy prices and a turning interest rate environment are impacting their businesses.
Last week, the heads of U.S. banks warned about the health of the global economy, with J.P.Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon speaking of a coming “hurricane” and Citigroup’s C.N chief Jane Fraser saying Europe was more likely than the United States to slip into a recession.
Major central banks, already plotting rate hikes in a fight against inflation, are preparing a common pullback from key financial markets in a first-ever round of global quantitative tightening expected to restrict credit and add stress to an already-slowing world economy.
Beyond the challenges of the macroeconomic environment, Credit Suisse is contending with its own overhaul and a series of setbacks that have shaken investor confidence in the bank. Ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s both downgraded its debt ratings in May.
Credit Suisse said its second-quarter earnings would also be affected by continued volatility in the market value of the bank’s 8.6% holding in Allfunds Group.
The bank said it aimed to accelerate cost initiatives announced as part of its reorganisation in November, “with the aim of maximizing savings from 2023 onwards”.
It said it now planned to operate at a group-wide Common Equity Tier 1 ratio, its key capital metric, of around 13.5% “in the near-term”, below its 2024 target for above 14% and its 2021 CET1 ratio of 14.4%.
“We remain focused on the disciplined execution of our strategy, delivering on our regulatory remediation programs and placing risk management at the core of the bank,” it said.