The Credit Suisse Group today posted a profit for the fourth quarter of 397 million Swiss francs, a turnaround from a year ago that reflected a tough year of cost-cutting and consolidation.

The chief executive of Switzerland's second-biggest bank, Brady W Dougan, said in a statement that 2012 was "a year of transition".

The bank struggled with tough market conditions and made aggressive cuts in costs and risks while meeting new requirements that it hold more capital.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Zurich-based bank had reported a net loss of 637 million francs its first fourth-quarter net loss since 2008.

Credit Suisse also said today that its full-year results for 2012 showed a net profit of 1.483 billion francs, a 24% drop from 1.953 billion francs in 2011.

With some 47,400 staff around the world and 924 million francs in assets as of the fourth quarter, the bank is on the list of the 29 "global systemically important banks" that the Bank for International Settlements - the Basel, Switzerland-based central bank for central banks - considers too big to fail.

But the latest financial results, posted before the opening of the Zurich exchange, also show that the total assets managed by Credit Suisse in the fourth quarter represented a 12% decrease from 1.05 trillion francs in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The bank also reported shedding 2,300 jobs during that time. "We took significant steps to adapt our businesses and our organisation to new regulatory requirements, changing client demands and the current market environment," Dougan said.

He also raised the bank's cost-cutting programme by 400 million francs by the end of 2015, coming on top of 4 billion francs of reductions that have been previously announced since 2011.