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Business

Credit Suisse profit up despite strong franc

Zurich-based Credit Suisse has logged higher net profit for the first quarter, enabling its outgoing CEO to leave with a positive result to his credit. The lender managed to keep franc appreciation effects at bay.

Credit Suisse reported Tuesday that its bottom-line earnings rose by 23 percent, riding on boosted securities trading and on considerable gains at its private banking operations for wealthy clients.

The Swiss lender was the first European investment bank to report quarterly earnings. It said first-quarter net profit stood at 1.054 billion francs ($1.10 billion, 1.02 billion euros), up from 859 million francs in the same period a year earlier and beating analysts' expectations.

"Wealth management clients generated a particularly strong result, with improved margins, increased profitability and good net asset inflows from key growth regions," outgoing CEO Brady W. Dougan said in a statement.

Leaving the ghosts of the past behind

Dougan had been under fire for some time for making little progress in stabilizing the lender and for the hefty fines the bank had to pay. Credit Suisse had pleaded guilty to helping Americans avoid paying taxes and agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion in penalties.

But Dougan is now being credited with aptly managing the effects of a strong franc after the currency's cap against the euro was scrapped.

Come June,

Brady Dougan will be replaced with Tidjane Thiam

, currently head of British insurer Prudential.

hg/ng (dpa, Reuters)

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