Credit Suisse bonus woes now clear

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Credit Suisse bonus woes now clear

Everyone knows that Credit Suisse bonuses were down for 2021. The release of the Credit Suisse compensation report clarifies that for high earners, they were down by a lot more than previously thought. 

Like other European banks, Credit Suisse releases a compensation report on pay for its material risk-takers and controllers (typically managing directors and other key staff). There were 1,480 of these at Credit Suisse in 2021, compared to 1,438 in 2020. Their average bonus was down 41% to CHF369k ($398k).

This was a lot more than the 32% cut to Credit Suisse's overall bonus pool, which was down to CHF2bn as a result of losses relating to Archegos. 

However, as the chart below shows, some components of Credit Suisse bonuses were cut by more than the rest. The components of the average bonus paid in performance share awards and contingent capital awards were down by 68% and 70% respectively. 

Only non-deferred cash and non-deferred share bonuses were up at Credit Suisse last year, and non-deferred cash bonuses will be subject to clawback if recipients leave within three years.

There were some mitigating factors: Credit Suisse paid CHF400m in retention bonuses in 2021. However, it also revealed today that it clawed back CHF68m of previous years' bonuses as a result of the loss in the investment bank. 

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