Credit Suisse has frozen its investment bank bonus pool for the second year running after a surge in trading revenue in 2019 was offset by a drop in its advisory and capital markets business, as Morgan Stanley and UBS are cutting investment banker bonuses in Asia after deals cooled.
The Swiss bank's overall bonus pool for last year will stay level at about SFr3.2bn ($3.3bn) as the board tries to balance a strong increase in group net income with a falling share price in recent years, sources told the FT.
Credit Suisse, which has faced a scandal related to spying on senior executives, also conducted espionage against Greenpeace, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported. Then-chief operating officer Pierre-Oliver Bouee ordered his head of security to infiltrate the environmental group after Greenpeace disrupted the bank's annual shareholder meeting in 2017, the paper said in an article published on Sunday.
Credit Suisse, which has been criticized by Greenpeace for investing in fossil fuels, gained access to emails, tipping the bank off to demonstrations planned against it, the report said.
The bank was found last year to have spied on its former wealth management head Iqbal Khan, and former human resources head Peter Goerke. The fallout from the affair has created a rift between CEO Tidjane Thiam and chairman Urs Rohner, who is reportedly drawing up a list of possible replacements for Thiam.
Morgan Stanley cut the Asia bonus pool after lower merger and acquisition fees, the person said, with overall investment banking revenue declining about 12%, a person told Bloomberg. The Asia ex-Japan bonus pool at UBS's investment-banking unit fell about 14% for last year, while Morgan Stanley's is about 9% lower. Goldman Sachs kept overall bonuses largely flat.
Across the major banks, managing directors and executive directors are facing the biggest reductions of between 9 per cent and 12 per cent. Bonuses for vice-presidents are largely flat, while most associates got a slight raise.