Hire Wire Nov 01 2011

Credit Suisse to Cut 1,500 Jobs

By julie steinberg

Credit Suisse will lop off another 1,500 jobs, or 3% of its workforce, as it seeks to save 2 billion Swiss francs by the end of 2013, the bank said this morning in its third quarter earnings statement.

The cuts are in addition to the 2,000 that were announced in July, to be completed by the end of this year. Over 75% of the 2,000 announced reductions have been carried out as of the end of October, the bank said.

The new plan rivals its Swiss firm UBS, which announced in August it would cut 3,500 jobs as part of an initiative to save 2 billion Swiss francs annually.

The 1,500 Credit Suisse reductions announced today will be spread across the firm, with many to fall in the investment bank and in operational and support functions across all segments.

Originally, the bank had planned to save 1.2 billion Swiss francs in 2012. It now plans to save 2 billion by the end of 2013 as it reconfigures its investment bank, shrinks certain businesses within it and complies with strict banking rules in Switzerland. At the same time, the bank will grow its presence and revenues in emerging markets.

Within the investment bank, Credit Suisse will exit structured long-dated unsecured trades in its global rates business as well as the commercial mortgage-backed securities business line. It plans to grow in commodities, prime services, derivatives, equity underwriting and its fixed income businesses in emerging markets such as Brazil, Southeast Asia, Greater China and Russia.

The bank will look to reduce risk-weighted assets in the fixed income business by 50% by the end of 2014. It also plans to "de-layer coverage" of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Credit Suisse will reallocate resources to emerging markets not just in the investment bank but also across the firm. It wants to increase revenue contributions from Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific from the current 15% to 25% by 2014.

At the end of the third quarter, Credit Suisse had 50,700 employees, which included a loss of 200 employees in the private banking segment (from 27,500 in the second quarter to 25,500) and a gain of 200 in the investment banking segment (from 21,300 in the second quarter to 21,500).

This "reflected reductions in headcount in connection with our cost efficiency initiatives…offset by seasonal graduate and apprentice recruitment and increases due to regulatory requirements," according to the bank.

Net revenues at the investment bank were 2.5 billion Swiss francs, down 27% from the year earlier period. Revenue was impacted by the "volatile market environment driven by increased European sovereign debt concerns and indications of a global economic slowdown," the bank said.

Compensation for the investment bank fell as a result. For the first nine months of 2011, the firm set aside 5.3 billion Swiss francs, down 15% from the 6.2 billion it set aside in the year earlier period.

The firm posted a profit of 638 million Swiss francs, up from 609 million francs a year earlier, missing analyst expectations of 1.08 billion Swiss francs.

Write to Julie Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com

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