Activist RBR says Credit Suisse results show more action needed

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We are working hard to increase revenue and reduce cost.

Credit Suisse said Wednesday that it narrowed its fourth-quarter loss and predicted a positive impact from the US tax reform in the future after an initial financial hit.

The authorities in question included the Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Swiss bank said, adding that it was "cooperating with the authorities". A previously flagged 2.3bn franc hit from U.S. tax reforms prevented a return to profit after three years of cost-cutting.

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Credit Suisse has come under pressure from an activist investor, Swiss hedge fund RBR, which took a stake in the bank a year ago and is pressing for the firm to hive off its investment bank and move it to NY from Zurich. Its CET 1 ratio rose to 12.8 percent from 11.5 percent in the last quarter of 2016.

The bank may also see profits increase following a boost to assets under management past year.

Following a flood of criticism from market commentators and financial firms alike, Thiam insisted that the product's demise was not a hit to the bank's reputation.

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While the Swiss bank delivered a better-than-expected 2017 performance, Credit Suisse remains cautious over the year ahead.

"It's too early. We said that our philosophy would be to generate significant surpluses and to distribute 50 percent of that to shareholders either as a dividend or as a share buyback", he said. On a pre-tax basis, it was the bank's first year in the black since Thiam launched the turnaround plan in 2015. "We should generate 4 to 5 billion (francs) of surplus in (2018) which can then be distributed".

The bank's board proposed Michael Klein and Ana Paula Pessoa for election as new non-executive members.

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Sitohang said, however, that in the first six weeks of 2018, Credit Suisse's Asia-Pacific markets business saw revenues rise by over 15 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, thanks to increased market volatility. "Now it is up to Credit Suisse to show alternatives", RBR said in a statement.

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