Credit Suisse Overhauls Bonuses

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Credit Suisse has overhauled its group share-based bonus approach in an attempt to incent and retain staff earning more than $100,000 a year.

The Swiss bank is applying the plan to bonuses paid for last year, which will be announced in the next few weeks.

The program is part of the "one bank" initiative spearheaded last year by chief executive Oswald Grübel and Brady Dougan, head of the investment bank, to encourage group businesses to work more closely together.

It will affect more than 25 percent of staff, and most people working in the investment bank. The plan will give company shares to associates, vice presidents, managing directors and vice-chairmen that will vest over three years, with 33 percent vesting at the end of each year. The units will equate to 2.5 shares of Credit Suisse stock.

Rather than being valued when they are granted, they will be determined according to the company's share price when they are cashed in. This gives recipients an incentive to boost the group's performance and share price.

The final batch will be valued according to a formula based on Credit Suisse's share price compared with its rivals. Senior bankers could receive half or more of their compensation in the units.

The plan will provide a more transparent bonus scheme to ease tensions about compensation.

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