Credit Suisse has overhauled its group share-based bonus scheme in an attempt to incentivise and retain staff earning more than US$100k a year.
The Swiss bank is applying the scheme to the payment of bonuses for last year, which will be announced in the next few weeks.
The compensation programme is part of the 'one bank' initiative, spearheaded last year by chief executive Oswald Grübel and investment bank head Brady Dougan, to encourage group businesses to work more closely together.
It will affect more than 25% 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% 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.