Belfast Telegraph

Thousands of Credit Suisse jobs to go in new restructuring drive

Credit Suisse plans to slash more than 5,500 jobs this year as the bank extends its cost-cutting drive under chief executive Tidjane Thiam.

It adds to the 7,250 staff cuts that took place in 2016 as part of major restructuring plans introduced by Mr Thiam in a bid to reduce risk and shave down costs to less than than 17 billion Swiss francs (£13.6 billion) by the end of 2018.

That goal will require further reductions over the next two years, having reported adjusted operating expenses of 19.38 billion Swiss francs last year (£15.5 billion).

News of further job cuts came as Credit Suisse announced an annual net loss of 2.4 billion Swiss francs (£1.9 billion) for 2016 - down from 2.9 billion Swiss francs (£2.3 billion) in 2015 - as annual net revenues dropped 15% to 20.3 billion Swiss francs (£16.2 billion).

Mr Thiam said: "2016 was the first full year of implementing our new strategy and it was a challenging and busy 12 months. Thanks to our strong client franchise and the dedication of our teams, we have made good progress on our key objectives."

He added: "We believe we are well positioned to continue to make progress with our restructuring programme in 2017 and 2018, and to capture profitable growth opportunities across our franchises and geographies."

Mr Thiam joined Credit Suisse in 2015 after serving as the chief executive of insurer Prudential.

He has since spearheaded a revamp to cut costs and refocus the group on private banking and away from investment banking, which involves greater risks.

The plans have been controversial among shareholders, who have seen the bank's Switzerland-listed stock decline by more than 40% since Mr Thiam took the reins over a year and a half ago.

Shares were up 1.2% following the company's fourth quarter and annual results on Tuesday.

The company recently put an end to a key legal dispute with the US Department of Justice related to its residential mortgage-backed securities business dating back to 2007.

It put aside more than two billion US dollars (£1.6 billion) for legal provisions in the fourth quarter, to be put towards the total settlement of 5.28 billion US dollars (£4.2 billion).

Mr Thiam said the settlement removed a "major source of uncertainty" for the bank's future.