Credit Suisse Asian Banker Bonuses in Focus

Credit Suisse, investmentbanking, bonuses

Credit Suisse in Hong Kong

Investment banking bonuses at Credit Suisse in Asia, a cornerstone of the Swiss bank's new strategy, are bucking the trend of cuts seen in other financial hubs.

Credit Suisse (CS) bankers are the beneficiaries of a pullback in Asia by some rivals such as Barclays. They are also exempted from the 36 percent cut on their bonus imposed by the bank on colleagues in London and New York.

As a result, Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam hasn't seen the same backlash in Asia as in the U.S., where an open revolt of investment bankers has broken out.

Complaining Even Without Cuts

Nevertheless, many CS bankers are still complaining about what they have received.

«Last year was a record year for our Asia-Pacific business line, but total compensation was more in line with an average year,» an investment banker with CS in Asia grumbled to the «FT».

«One-Bank» in Asia

To be sure, business is slowing even in Asia. According to market analytics firm Coalition, investment banking and markets revenue in Asia fell 27 percent, in line with the 25 percent fall globally.

Credit Suisse is running counter to the bonus trend in Asia because the fast-growing region makes for a large part of the bank's new strategy. The bank is pinning its hopes on «one-bank» or mining the relationships with capital markets clients – wealthy entrepreneurs for example – for private banking business as well.

Rosy Millenial View

While some bankers are already voicing disappointment with their payouts on what is referred to as «envelope day», others are taking them with a grain of salt. 

Bankers who began their careers more recently have no context for the heady pay schemes that were commonplace before the 2008-9 financial crisis hit. 

«I've got no idea what an amazing bonus is,» a millenial-generation banker at HSBC told the «FT». 

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