Credit Suisse posts huge losses and … recruits new personnel

image Credit Suisse has continued to attract talented staff despite the crisis and has cash to spare for possible acquisitions, the Swiss bank’s chief executive was quoted as saying by a Swiss newspaper on Sunday.

Despite posting big net losses in 2008, Credit Suisse was able to ride through the subprime crisis without government help and has emerged as one of the best capitalized banks in the world.

"Even during the crisis we were a very attractive employer. We could retain our people and also win over new employees, without having to give them long-term guarantees," Brady Dougan was quoted as saying by Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.

"Now we are trying not to be carried away with this new heated fight for talent. But it will not be easy."

"But people like to work with us, and we can also offer them non-monetary benefits," he added.

The Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh on Sept 24-25 is expected to discuss how to regulate bonuses and pay packages for bankers.

Regulators in Switzerland are already considering new rules to regulate bankers’ compensation, but do not plan to introduce caps on pay.

"We will go even more in the direction of arranging the payment of bonuses according to risk and performance," Dougan said. "But it is too early to say how exactly we will do that."

Credit Suisse introduced earlier this year an innovative compensation structure that involved giving out a portion of the illiquid assets of the bank to employees.

Dougan said this pool of assets, that was worth 686 million Swiss francs ($665 million) when the system was introduced, has risen by 18 percent in value in the last six months.

He also said Credit Suisse could use its war chest to further build its capital base, grow organically or through acquisitions or pay back shareholders.

"Acquisitions are possible in all segments of private banking and asset management," Dougan said, adding that the 42 billion Swiss francs of net new money the bank managed to attract last year was equivalent to a mid-sized private bank.

"If there is a good chance to buy something of high quality, we will do it."
Source: Reuters


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