Barclays, Credit Suisse and Socit Gnrale have all reported major earning gains for last year, thanks in large part to increased investment banking profits. Rising demand for credit and low interests rates, as well as reduced debt, also played a role.
At Socit Gnrale, last year delivered record earnings. The French bank announced that group net income jumped 78 per cent to approximately Euros 2.5 billion.
In the last year, pre-tax profits at Barclays rose 20 per cent from 3.2 billion to almost 3.8 billion. The bank was helped by a better performance from Barclaycard, but especially Barclays Capital. Barclays Capital, its debt-focused investment bank, alone contributed to 44 per cent growth last year, due partly to its falling bad-dept provisions. Together, the two divisions have more than doubled their contributions since 1999.
After posting SFr 3.3bn net loss 2002, Credit Suisse announced net profits of SwFr5.2 billion. The bank was helped with a strong comeback by the previously faltering insurance arm, which benefited from robust investment returns and drastic cost reduction last year. But strong performance from its investment bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, which has struggled in recent years, also shored up the turnaround.