Credit Suisse may be undergoing some painful restructuring at the moment but it has found a way to retain and reel in new staff by tripling special bonus payouts.
The bank paid SFr 222 million (£172 million, $228 million) in special bonuses last year — three times the SFr 71 million (£54.8 million) it paid in 2014, according to the Financial Times.
Unlike bonuses based on performance, “special bonuses” — or “replacement awards” — are used by banks to compensate new employees for a bonus they deferred leaving a previous job. They can also be used as one-off payments to encourage staff to stay.
The report says the new figure comes to an average of SFr 240,000 (£185,000) per head and is a way of luring new staff and keeping current ones as at Switzerland’s second-largest bank.
However Credit Suisse did not provide a comment to the FT on this report.
Credit Suisse is having a very tough 2016, announcing losses into the hundreds of millions and a restructuring programme that will result in layoffs of 6,000 staff members.
CEO Tidjane Thiam also received a big bonus increase, earning SFr 14.3 million (£11 million) in Credit Suisse stock, in lieu of a bonus he deferred when moving from his previous job at Prudential.
He recently defended the bank’s streamlining plans, telling Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick that “the Group will stay intact” and “a takeover is not a subject.” Despite the state of the bank, Chairman Urs Rohner insisted that Thiam was the “right man” for the job.