Credit Suisse set for shareholder pressure as slashed bonuses fail to win over advisory groups

William Turvill
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Credit Suisse chief executive Tidjane Thiam also came under pressure from shareholders last year (Source: Getty)

Credit Suisse looks set to come under more pressure over executive pay this year despite the bank making efforts to quell another shareholder revolt.

The Swiss bank last week announced it would be cutting bosses’ bonuses by 40 per cent and freezing total board compensation for the year following pressure from shareholders.

Chief executive Tidjane Thiam came under pressure at last year’s annual general meeting (AGM), and may well feel the heat from shareholders again this year.

Read more: Now Standard Chartered has been caught up in exec pay row

For shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis, the new concessions – ahead of 2017’s AGM on 28 April – are “too little too late”.

Reuters reported that ISS Governance has also stuck by its previous advice to reject the remuneration proposals.

A Glass Lewis recommendation said: “We believe this action is a positive response to notable shareholder discontent leading up to the annual general meeting and should generate some goodwill. However, we also find that this is a case of ‘too little too late’.

“While this step does relieve some concerns about the quantum, it does not address the more meaningful disconnect between pay and the shareholder experience.

Read more: Power grab: Drax shareholders rebel against "excessive" executive pay

“Indeed, a situation in which top executives feel obliged to volunteer to reduce their own earned awards two weeks prior to an annual meeting facing a shareholder revolt highlights the dysfunction of a compensation programme and a compensation committee that fail to adequately consider shareholder interests.”

  • Elsewhere, in the UK, advisory group Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc), has today advised that shareholders vote down the remuneration reports of Ireland-based biotech company Shire and consumer goods giant Unilever.

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