Credit Suisse said it will accelerate its cost-cutting programme after posting its first annual loss since 2008.
The bank took a CHF3.8 billion ($3.8 billion, £2.6 billion) impairment charge on assets in the fourth quarter, pushing the bank more than CHF2 billion in to the red for the year.
Credit Suisse blamed market volatility for poor performance in its investment bank and trading divisions.
“Clearly the environment has deteriorated materially during the fourth quarter of 2015 and it is not clear when some of the current negative trends in financial markets and in the world economy may start to abate,” CEO Tidjane Thiam, who joined the bank in July, said in a statement on the bank’s website.
Credit Suisse hopes to save CHF500 million annually in a restructuring to angle the business towards wealth management and away from securities trading. Up to 4,000 jobs will be cut under the plan.
Thiam said: “A combination of uncertainties on Chinese growth, the abrupt drop in oil prices, large industry mutual fund redemptions of financial assets, asynchronous policies by leading central banks, lower liquidity, a strong Swiss franc have all contributed to making the fourth quarter of 2015 challenging with lower levels of client activity, lower levels of issuance and material shifts in the prices of some asset classes. In that context, the bank has delivered a resilient performance.”
The bank is not the only one to be going through big changes. Tough rules on how banks must plan for losses on their assets, combined with anaemic global growth and low interest rates have made traditional investment banking business models non-viable.
Deutsche Bank is struggling with the same problems and last month posted a huge €6.8 billion (£5.1 billion) loss for 2015.
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