Credit Suisse says on road to recovery
Zurich - A day after announcing surprising first quarter profits of about 2 billion Swiss francs (1.7 billion dollars), the chairman of Credit Suisse said Friday his bank was on the path to recovery.
"We believe that despite our 2008 loss, Credit Suisse is today better positioned than it was 12 months ago," Walter B. Kielholz told shareholders.
The bank lost 8.2 billion francs in 2008, the largest in Credit Suisse's history but has not required a state capital injection or a bail-out, unlike its closest competitor UBS.
UBS has taken about 5 billion francs in cash and moved over 30 billion francs of toxic assets to a stabilization fund run by the central bank.
Kielholz, who will be stepping down as chair but seeking to remain on the board, said Credit Suisse's stocks had outperformed peers in the last four months.
"The market is now separating the wheat from the chaff. And Credit Suisse will undoubtedly emerge from this process as one of the winners," the chair said.
He expressed concern over state intervention in certain financial institutions.
"I have concerns that excessive state intervention regarding the lending policies of banks or the realignment of their structures could have negative implications for the entire sector," Kielholz said, adding that he was also worried about over-regulation in response to the crisis.
The chairman also expressed his support for maintaining banking secrecy, which has come under attack from foreign governments in recent months, particularly given UBS's admission that its employees engaged in fraud.
Kielholz will join insurer Swiss Re after stepping down at the bank. (dpa)