Credit Suisse just waved away the shareholder spring - but investors are still angry

Emma Haslett
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Thiam asked shareholders for patience (Source: Getty)

It was the best of times, it was the wurst of times at Credit Suisse's annual general meeting (AGM), as shareholders waved through controversial pay deals for its top team despite protests - and comfort ate frankfurters.

At a meeting at which security was called as an angry shareholder disrupted proceedings, votes on directors' and executives' pay were passed by more than 80 per cent of investors, the FT reported.

Meanwhile, chairman Urs Rohner was re-elected with more than 92 per cent of the vote.

Shareholders were then presented with hot dogs for lunch (dangerous - Daimler's AGM taught us what can happen when tensions are already running high and a bratwurst buffet is involved).

The unrest among shareholders follows a dire start to the year for the Swiss lender, whose shares have fallen almost a third since the beginning of the year, from SFr 21.14 in January.

This afternoon shares were down another four per cent, at SFr 14.57.

Earlier today, chief executive Tidjane Thiam asked shareholders to have patience as the bank braced itself for a bumpy ride in 2016.

Thiam said the lender's performance had been "encouraging" since it posted a pre-tax loss of SFr 2.42bn (£1.65bn) for 2015, its first annual loss in eight years. The bank has also said it is planning 4,000 job cuts.

“The first quarter of 2016 has seen a continuation of some of the negative pressures experienced in the fourth quarter of 2015," he added.

"January and February were simply two of the worst months ever in international markets."

Credit Suisse isn't the only lender to come under fire from its shareholders. Investor association Pirc had taken exception to HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver's £7.3m pay packet - although when it came down to it, the bank's director's remuneration report was passed with 90.49 per cent of shareholders' approval.

However, yesterday the so-called shareholder spring gathered pace, as investors voted against boardroom pay rewards at both engineering giant Weir Group and Shire, the FTSE 100 pharmaceutical company.

At the time of writing, a Credit Suisse spokesman could not confirm the shareholder voting figures.

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