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Credit Suisse’s Chief Executive Is Reducing His Own Bonus

February 7, 2016

ZURICH: Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam Earnings News Conference & InterviewZURICH: Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam Earnings News Conference & Interview
Tidjane Thiam will increase Credit Suisse's focus on Switzerland and wealth management in Asia as it scales back the securities unit. Photograph by Alessandro Della Bella — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Credit Suisse’s chief executive is waiving part of his bonus in response to the lender’s first full-year loss since 2008, weekly Sonntagszeitung said on Sunday.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank reported a worse-than-expected 2015 net loss of 2.94 billion Swiss francs ($2.97 billion) after booking a big impairment charge at its investment banking business.

“I proposed to the board to markedly reduce my bonus,” Tidjane Thiam was quoted as saying. “My cut is the biggest within the management team.”

Thiam has said he wants to cut costs quicker, promising the lender’s bonus pool for 2015 would be 11% smaller than a year earlier.

Thiam told the paper he felt a statement he had made in October about 2018 profits had been misunderstood.

“I never announced a 2018 goal of a 9-10 billion [Swiss francs] profit,” he said, adding that he gave this range for illustration purposes only.

It would be “self-destructive” to set profit targets for the investment banking business, he said.

Thiam, a former Ivory Coast government minister who replaced American Brady Dougan, aims to shrink Credit Suisse’s investment banking operation after it saw net outflows of funds in two of its three main wealth management divisions in the fourth quarter 2015.

Instead he plans to focus more on wealth management in emerging economies.