Credit Suisse Credit Agreement Basics
Please proceed to the next slide, page 40. Thank you very much. As I`ve said before, our return on equity has been 12% in the last six months and 10.4% in the last 12 months, which has exceeded our pre-COVID ambition to provide around 10% for 2020. The strong results show that our operating model is also operating in a challenging market environment and at a time when we have built up a significant credit reserve. We were also able to increase our material book value per share, which exceeded CHF17 at the end of the second quarter. Before that, and with the organizational changes we announced today, we believe we are well positioned to continue to deliver shareholder value, invest in growth, serve our customers, and navigate the challenging market environment while advancing the sustainability agenda. All right. I think your second question at the time was more of a numerical question about the reversal of credit withdrawals that we saw in March. I think the answer is that we only saw a partial repayment of the credit facility that we saw in the first quarter.
I therefore assume that if conditions continue to normalise and given the continued intervention of central banks in the debt markets, we should see a further repayment of the facilities, when we will indeed go through the rest of this year. But no, it is not fair to say that we have seen so far the full extent of this reversal. And I think that on this scale, there is still an advantage over all of our credit commitments. Since the market`s childhood in the 1980s, Bob has played a large number of roles in the high interest rate market. This book is a great resource for beginners trying to learn the intricacies of the high-yield market as well as for experienced professionals who want to refine their credit capabilities. I found the book well written and can only highly recommend it. In the second quarter, the cost of the business was 2% higher than in the previous year (CHF 4.3 billion). This essentially reflects two factors: first, the increase in compensation provisions, partly due to the significant increase in business and transactional activity during the quarter; and, secondly, an increase of CHF 53 million in expenses resulting from mark-to-mark movements on deferred comp instruments related to the narrowing of our credit spreads during the quarter. In total, we achieved a profit before tax of CHF 1.6 billion in the quarter, an increase of 19% compared to the previous year. We continue to take an appropriate position with respect to the provision of our lending commitments against pandemic-related cyclical burdens.
For the CECL, our overall borrowing commitments were roughly constant, although we were able to see some deterioration in the economic forecast compared to the end of the first quarter. As I will explain in more detail, we have seen an increase in some of our specific provisions, but not as much as in the first quarter. Net, as I have already mentioned, we arrive in the third quarter with a comprehensive pension plan in the event of a credit default on our balance sheet of CHF 2 billion. . . .