Credit Suisse reported a net loss of Sfr302 million ($310.8 million) compared with a profit of Sfr1.05 billion a year earlier as the bank's restructuring global markets division plunged deep into the red and its investment banking and capital markets unit also posted a loss.
Thiam said January and February were "some of the most difficult markets on record with volumes and client activity drastically reduced." Despite a subsequent tentative pickup, he foresees "subdued market conditions" continuing through the second quarter and beyond.
The global markets and investment banking losses were partly offset by rising sales and earnings in wealth management, which, like several lenders, Credit Suisse is making a major focus. And within investment banking one bright spot was M&A advisory, where revenue more than doubled year-on-year.
Thiam in March announced swinging cutbacks at the global markets unit. As well as building wealth management, his strategy also includes Asia Pacific expansion and the IPO of a minority stake in its domestic business in 2017.
On Tuesday, Thiam touted his progress in the restructuring, noted that Credit Suisse had already cut 3,500 of the 6,000 jobs within global markets that the bank is aiming to shed this year. He said in the first quarter Credit Suisse had achieved half of the Sfr1.4 billion net cost cuts it's targeting for the whole year, and that the bank will meet or exceed its target of a gross Sfr1.7 billion of cost cuts this year.
Credit Suisse shares were recently up 5.4% at Sfr14.50 in Zurich. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had been shooting for a first-quarter loss of Sfr344 million, worse than the eventual Sfr302 million figure.