Fixed income hurts Credit Suisse’s trading business

Global markets division sees revenues decrease 7% as low levels of volatility hits client activity.

Fixed income sales and trading brought down Credit Suisse’s global markets business in the third quarter, as revenues for the sector declined 7% this year. 

The Swiss bank reported net revenues of CHF 1.26 billion within its trading business, compared to CHF 1.36 billion in the same three-month period in 2016.

Fixed income sales and trading revenues stood at CHF 698 million, down 9% from CHF 770 million in the third quarter last year, although equity sales and trading income grew 10% year-on-year to CHF 383 million.

“Macro products revenues declined significantly across our rates and foreign exchange businesses, which benefited from higher levels of volatility and increased client activity in 3Q16 following the UK referendum and US elections,” Credit Suisse stated.

However it was a successful quarter for the bank in terms of progress with its cost-savings targets, which were outlined earlier this year following an annual net loss of CHF 2.4 billion in 2016.

Credit Suisse said by the end of 2017 it expects operating expenses to be below CHF 18.5 billion, through an “incremental headcount reduction of more than 5,500 for the year.”

Overall headcount in the third quarter declined 6% to 68,730 employees, which is 4,020 less than in the same period in 2016. 

“We have maintained our relentless focus on costs, with approximately CHF 400 million of additional savings in 3Q17 and CHF 1 billion for [the full-year so far]. We are confident in ending 2017 below our CHF 18.5 billion cost target,” said Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse.

Overall net income at the bank stood at CHF 5 billion in the third quarter this year, down 2% compared to the third quarter last year, although up 6% for the full year so far.