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Credit Suisse boss earned less last year

Tidjane Thiam

Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse, as seen in February (Keystone) - Click to enlarge

Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam earned slightly less in 2017 during his third year on the job, the bank said on Friday. The news comes at a time of scrutiny over executive pay and bonuses.

Thiam earned CHF9.7 million ($10.26 million) last year, a 5.3% drop on 2016, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said.

“The compensation committee considers that Mr. Thiam’s proposed total compensation for 2017 of CHF9.7 million reflects his strong performance against the suite of measures, while also recognizing that the group is still in a transition phase,” the committee’s chair, Kai Nargolwala, said in a note included in the bank’s annual report.

According to Credit Suisse, the salary change is related to a decline in Thiam’s long-term incentive bonus, which foresees a future share payout linked to meeting targets over the next three years.

Credit Suisse last year agreed to cut executive bonuses by 40%, including 2016 cash bonuses and 2017 share incentives, following shareholder dissent.

+ Read more about the CS executive bonuses dispute

The bank posted a CHF983 million loss for 2017 following a United States tax asset writedown. On a pre-tax basis, it was the bank’s first year in the black since Thiam launched the turnaround plan in 2015.

The announcement over Thiam’s compensation comes two weeks after rival UBS said that its chief executive had received CHF14.2 million in compensation for 2017, up from CHF13.7 million in 2016. UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, has largely escaped the same scrutiny over pay as CS.

+ Read more on why UBS did not have shareholder rebellion on pay

A change to Swiss law in 2013 granted shareholders a veto right over salaries of top managers and board members of listed companies.

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