Credit Suisse posts first quarter loss, further writedowns

ZURICH, April 24, 2008 (AFP) – Switzerland’s second biggest bank Credit Suisse on Thursday reported a net loss of 2.148 billion Swiss francs (1.330 billion euros, 2.11 billion dollars) for the first quarter of the year, hit by the ongoing subprime crisis in the United States.

Writedowns in leveraged finance and structured products reached 5.3 billion Swiss francs for the three months, said the bank, which added however that there had been a “continued significant reduction” in its risk exposure.

“Our first-quarter results are clearly unsatisfactory. However, during the quarter, we substantially reduced our exposures to affected areas and we will continue to do so in a disciplined fashion,” the bank’s chief executive officer Brady Dougan said.

The bank’s investment banking unit, which has been most exposed to the subprime crisis, posted losses before taxes of 3.46 billion Swiss francs for the quarter.

“This decline was due in large part to the impact of the mortgage and credit market dislocations on the fixed income businesses,” said the bank.

The bank has previously already written down 3.2 billion Swiss francs, but posted a profit for 2007 of 7.76 billion Swiss francs.

It has so far fared better than fellow Swiss banking giant UBS, which has alr