Credit Suisse employee trapped in no-man’s land

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Many of them are sitting in their offices waiting for something to happen. Finds Asia take a look.

At least there is talk of a forced bailout of Credit Suisse by UBS. And for all those who work in the financial hubs themselves, this issue is always on the back burner.

As Finds Asia As we have already commented, bankers in many of the world’s major financial centers outside of Switzerland have cut staff annually, even quarterly, removing staff from spreadsheets that hold only names, teams and compensation. accustomed to doing

This may be why the potential size and extent of domestic restructuring could have a relatively large impact on a significant number of Swiss employees. Many have, at least until now, been largely sheltered from the wild bank winds blowing from elsewhere.

difficult environment

Finds Asia When asked, several bank officials involved in Credit Suisse’s Swiss business agreed to be quoted anonymously. The common factor they all expressed was their discomfort with their surroundings.

As an example, a senior banker who works at the front lines of domestic operations claims that there has been no formal contact with UBS yet, even though the deal was first announced in March. This contrasts with the high level of front-line activity in his two former competitors in other business areas.

That makes sense in that the banks will remain competitors, but it doesn’t make the situation any less awkward, the people said. An internal view is that it could take another two months before reaching a relatively obvious decision to fully integrate the two entities.

Missing customer information

UBS is still analyzing the bailed-out banks’ domestic operations, but there is still relatively little information about what they do, how many employees they have and what their risk exposures are, with the goal of helping the eventual consolidation. both entities. Customer information is not shared until a final decision is made.

That means lower level employees and younger executives will continue to leave. Customers will also ostensibly continue to move to greener pastures, and those who stay there will be reluctant to take on new business, the people said.

Another area of ​​complaint concerns compensation. Given the circumstances leading up to the Credit Suisse bankruptcy, few people, not only in Switzerland, but globally, invest a lot of shares in bankers that mention compensation, but still for many bankers. Funding is the number one factor.

clawback frustration

To that effect, one long-time bank executive criticized the fact that UBS adheres to clawback provisions when bankers leave of their own accord, even if they are not vested. expressed some dissatisfaction even though the underlying incentive base portion had become worthless. in the meantime. If the manager leaves, Switzerland will have to pay the full bonus for this year and just over half for 2022, the person said.

Another source, also with the Swiss business, said most of his acquaintances are waiting to see what happens. Many were over 50 and seemed like it was a smart move.

Swiss social plans also help employees sit on the sidelines, as everyone is given at least a year before an actual decision is made.

too much overhead

“Waiting is a strange thing. One thing is for sure, when the businesses are combined there will definitely be excessive overhead,” the person said.

One of the main problems with being a bonafide lame duck company is the fact that its business goals haven’t changed at all this year, even though they were set long before the forced evacuation.

“The targets set out at the beginning of the year have not changed. The bonuses announced for 2023 will also be based on the financial targets achieved,” said the official.

many town halls

Another source in the Swiss-based administration sees everything in a different light. Since the rescue was announced, many have experienced emotions ranging from anger to sadness to disappointment.

Unlike front-line bankers, there has been formal communication from the UBS side to the team, many of which required spending significant time dialing into numerous city halls. Although most Credit Suisse employees still call it a merger, most have come to accept the fact of the transaction itself. This is in itself a testament to the strength of the internal messaging around the deal itself.

“We are waiting to be selected by UBS knowing that we are at a disadvantage. I’m worried about that,” said the official.

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