Credit Suisse Says Bonus-Pool Increase to Be Smaller for 2017

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse AG’s bonus pool increased at a slower pace in 2017 than a year before, showing that the bank remains cautious about spending as its restructuring continues.

Total bonuses for 2017 will rise 3 percent, Adam Gishen, head of investor relations, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. That’s lower than the 6 percent gain seen the year before. Gishen declined to comment on bonuses for individual units.

The bank is entering the final year of a plan to refocus on wealth management and investment-banking advisory services, reducing its reliance on trading-related businesses. Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, who agreed to accept a lower bonus for 2016, in November said that bankers shouldn’t expect a big raise for 2017 as Credit Suisse emerges from two years of restructuring and cost cuts.

Thiam and the executive board agreed to a 40 percent reduction to the bonuses originally proposed for them on 2016 earnings after investor groups voice their opposition. The lender awarded 3.09 billion Swiss francs ($2.6 billion) in incentive pay for 2016.

Credit Suisse said on Wednesday that in the fourth quarter operating expenses increased 14 percent compared to the third quarter, “reflecting higher compensation and benefits, increased restructuring costs and higher allocated corporate function costs.”

Swiss rival UBS AG cut its bonus pool for 2016 by 17 percent to 2.9 billion Swiss francs.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.