Bankers at Credit Suisse leaving in droves every week

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Hundreds of Credit Suisse’s employees are resigning each week in a sign of
uncertainty gripping the lender while it is being taken over by rival UBS, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

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Credit Suisse bankers, worried about their future are seeking safer employment at competitors, one person said.

Both declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

Swiss newspaper Blick reported earlier on Wednesday that each day around 150 people worldwide were resigning from Credit Suisse while one of the two people said they saw about 200 resignations a week.

UBS agreed on March 19 to take over its smaller Swiss rival as part of a rescue arranged by the Swiss authorities after a bout of market turmoil brought the struggling lender to the brink of collapse.

Credit Suisse said in April that the bank’s “employee attrition has been higher over the last year,” and that it had just over 48,000 full-time employees at the end of the first quarter. It reported 50,480 full-time staff at the end of 2022.

In an example of competitors poaching Credit Suisse’s staff, Santander, Spain’s biggest bank, has hired at least eight bankers from Credit Suisse and was targeting more, Bloomberg News reported this month.

UBS has been rushing to close the deal well before the end of this quarter, seeking swift approvals from regulators worldwide, to provide greater certainty for Credit Suisse clients and employees. Its chairman Colm Kelleher said last week it would happen “very shortly.”

UBS management has also said it would set a very high bar when deciding whether to retain any of Credit Suisse’s investment banking staff.

A banker from Credit Suisse in Zurich told Reuters the lender was in a state of flux, with its investment bank seeing the most staff departures.

UBS has said it plans to wind down Credit Suisse’s investment bank, which employs about 17,000 staff, and the Swiss state has pledged 9 billion Swiss franc in guarantees to cover potential losses from the operation.

No day passes without receiving a goodbye email from someone across the bank, one of the two people said. At the investment banks, calls are often unanswered, he added.

Following an order issued by the Swiss Finance Ministry, senior managers at Credit Suisse are having their outstanding bonus payments for 2022 either cancelled or cut, a move which contributed to staff decisions to leave the bank, the person added.

The merged bank will employ 120,000 worldwide, although UBS has already said it will be cutting jobs to reduce costs.

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