Credit Suisse reports loss amid most 'difficult markets on record'

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Credit Suisse has reported a loss for the first quarter amid "drastically reduced" client activity and "some of the most difficult markets on record".

The Swiss bank reported a loss of 484m Swiss francs (£346m) for the first three months of the year, compared to a profit a year earlier.

It said that subdued market conditions were likely to persist in the current quarter and "possibly beyond".

The bank has been cutting jobs and costs to boost earnings.

It had said previously that it expected reorganisation costs to push it into a loss for the first quarter.

Shares rose as the damage was not quite as bad as had been feared.

'Tentative pick-up'

"In the first quarter of 2016 and particularly in January and February, we operated in some of the most difficult markets on record with volumes and client activity drastically reduced," said chief executive Tidjane Thiam.

"While we saw tentative signs of a pick-up in activity in March and then in April, subdued market conditions and low levels of client activity are likely to persist in the second quarter of 2016 and possibly beyond."

Mr Thiam joined the bank in July 2015 with the task of focusing the bank more on private banking and less on the riskier investment bank.

He said the bank remained on course with its plan to cut costs by 1.4bn Swiss francs in 2016, deliver more profits from wealth management and maintain a strong balance sheet.

In March it announced that 2,000 jobs would be axed at its global markets business, on top of the 4,000 job cuts announced in February.

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