The Swiss government has directed Credit Suisse to halt temporarily the payment of bonuses to its workforce, following its efforts to engineer a takeover of the bank by UBS, its competitor.
The Swiss government is pointing to a federal law that empowers it to establish “remuneration-related measures” in cases that involve the largest banks in Switzerland.
Although authorities in Bern said they will prohibit payouts of “deferred” bonuses, they do not plan to block bonus payments from last year that have already been granted but are set to be immediately paid.
The government aims to avoid punishing Credit Suisse workers “who are not responsible for the crisis.” Swiss authorities, with support from the central bank and financial regulators, worked urgently over the weekend to arrange the acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS for a sum of $3.25 billion.
This action was taken due to concerns over a large outflow of deposits and ongoing issues that had caused fears of Credit Suisse’s potential collapse, which could have a ripple effect on the global financial system, similar to the collapse of two US banks in the past.
The move to suspend bonuses comes as a measure to hold the bank accountable for its actions that have led to its current precarious position, and to prevent further financial risks to the industry. This action could help prevent the bank’s employees from focusing solely on short-term gains and incentivize them to work towards the long-term stability of the bank.
Employees to face Bonus cuts at Credit Suisse Bank
The Swiss government’s move to suspend bonuses could have implications for the wider financial industry in Switzerland. By using its regulatory powers to curb bonus payments, the government is signaling to the industry that it will not tolerate excessive risk-taking, and that it is willing to take action to prevent another financial crisis.
This move could also encourage other countries to follow suit and regulate bonus payments in their respective financial industries. There are concerns that the government’s intervention could have unintended consequences.
The suspension of bonuses could lead to an exodus of top talent from Credit Suisse, which could ultimately harm the bank’s performance and further undermine its stability. Additionally, there are concerns that the government’s intervention could lead to a chilling effect on the wider Swiss financial industry, discouraging investment and limiting growth.
The suspension of bonuses is likely to have a negative impact on employee morale and could make it more challenging for Credit Suisse to attract and retain talent in a competitive industry.
The bank has already faced significant reputational damage and financial losses in recent years, and the suspension of bonuses could further undermine investor confidence in the bank’s ability to recover.