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Credit Suisse doubles net profit in 2013 but disappoints

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse more than doubled its net profit last year, but still missed expectations amid big legal charges, a results statement showed on Thursday. 

ZURICH: Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse more than doubled its net profit last year, but still missed expectations amid big legal charges, a results statement showed on Thursday.

In 2013, the bank saw its net profit balloon to 3.06 billion Swiss francs ($3.38 billion 2.50 billion euros), up from 1.34 billion a year earlier.

Analysts polled by the AWP financial news service had expected to see the company pull in a net profit of 3.2 billion during the year.

The last three months of the year accounted for the miss, with net profit edging up only slightly to 267 million Swiss francs from 263 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, and slumping a full 41 percent compared to the third quarter, the bank said in a statement.

This came after the bank's private banking and wealth management division set aside 175 million to cover legal expenses arising in connection with a US tax probe into a number of Swiss banks' suspected complicity in tax evasion by US citizens.

The bank also booked a provision of 339 million francs related to litigation over its investment bank's sale of mortgage-backed bonds.

The price of shares in the bank fell by 1.85 percent to 26.55 Swiss francs in morning trading as the Swiss stock exchange's main index remained flat.

Credit Suisse chief Brady Dougan was nonetheless upbeat about the results.

"In 2013, our priorities were to further improve profitability, continue to strengthen our capital position and reduce risks and leverage exposure, while expanding market share in targeted markets," he said in the earnings statement.

"We made strong progress towards these objectives," he said.

For 2013, the bank's board plans to hand out a dividend of 0.70 Swiss francs per share, down from 0.75 francs a year earlier.

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