Zurich: Credit Suisse is taking the axe to bonuses this year, the Swiss bank’s chairman was quoted as saying, following hefty job cuts at its investment bank.
“The bonus pool will be sharply lower again this year,” said Urs Rohner, the Swiss bank’s chairman, according to an interview due to appear in Thursday’s Handelszeitung newspaper.
Last year, Credit Suisse’s bonus pool shrank to 5.05 billion Swiss francs ($5.4 billion) from 6.87 billion. Banker bonuses have been a particular focus of controversy in Switzerland since 2008, when UBS was bailed out by the government.
Credit Suisse has been at pains to address the bonus issue after chief executive Brady Dougan was roundly criticized for a 2009 windfall of 70 million francs in stock, which he received under a 2004 bonus plan.
For 2010, Dougan’s overall pay fell by one-third to 12.8 million francs, 9.6 million of which was a cash bonus and stock with restrictions.
On a US investigation into allegations Credit Suisse helped wealthy Americans evade taxes, Rohner spoke out in favour of an industry-wide deal covering Swiss banks. However, he called reports that Switzerland’s banks might cough up 8 billion francs to settle the allegations “implausible.”
Rohner denied Credit Suisse accepted US clients from UBS after 2008, when a US offshore probe into that bank snowballed. Switzerland in 2009 struck a deal with US authorities for UBS to pay a fine of $780 million, allowing it to avert criminal charges. It later also revealed details of around 4,450 clients.