Almost a third of investors reject Credit Suisse pay deal
A total of 31.6 percent of investors who voted opposed the bank's remuneration plan
By CFOWorld staff | CFO UK | Published 14:51, 27 April 12
Credit Suisse faced an investor revolt from almost a third of its shareholders on Friday as they voted against the bank’s pay plan.
Credit Suisse said 31.6 percent of investors who voted opposed the bank's remuneration plan, the latest in a series of rebukes for top banks over pay, but still allowing the non-binding vote to pass.
The annual shareholder meeting was stormy at Credit Suisse, with many attendees complaining that executives were getting too big a slice of bank income at their expense.
Anger is also rife in the population at large that an industry whose excesses sparked the global economic downturn is still awarding its leaders multi-million dollar pay outs.
Credit Suisse chief executive Brady Dougan sought to head off criticism on pay in his address to around 1,700 investors.
"I recognise that this can be a very controversial topic ... However, having the right policies and structures in place is particularly important for a global bank, which is dependent on experienced and highly qualified people," he said.
But shareholders proved more angered than appeased by a 30-minute lecture on the bank's pay practices by Aziz Syriani, who heads the board's compensation committee.
"You should be ashamed of yourselves for taking so much money away from us. We are the owners of this bank, and you are our employees. We should be the ones who decide what you earn," said investor Rudolf Weber, to applause from other shareholders, Reuters reported.
Dougan was not Credit Suisse's top earner for 2011 - that honour went to Robert Shafir, who earned £8.5 million Swiss francs for running the asset management arm which posted a 10 percent rise in pre-tax profit.
Credit Suisse, which is cutting 3,500 jobs, said it has not paid top executives any cash awards for the past four years, opting for stock-based schemes linked to the bank's share price.
At 1200 GMT, Credit Suisse shares were up 0.7 percent at 22.26 francs, in line with Europe's bluechip index.
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