Credit Suisse: Time for sabbaticals

Credit Suisse Group AG has told some teams in Switzerland to consider taking a leave or sabbatical, adding to signs that the bank’s Swiss unit is under pressure to meet targets for the year, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bankers were told now is the ideal time for an unpaid or extended absence as the Swiss Universal Bank, led by Thomas Gottstein, seeks to cut 1,600 positions by the end of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions were private. Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Gottstein, who took the helm at the Swiss unit in 2015, is eliminating positions across teams and functions in the unit, which contributes more than any other to the lender’s pretax profit. Gottstein is planning to cut 300 positions this year, though some people may find other jobs in the bank, two people said. Gottstein has said the bank expects to reach its job target goal in 2018.

The executive is planning to grow the bank’s mortgage business and sees higher interest and commission revenues in corporate banking going forward, he said last month.

SUB’s adjusted pretax profit target of 2.3bn francs by 2018 is “ambitious” compared with the 1.3bn francs reported in the nine months through September 2017, Fitch Ratings has said, after Credit Suisse reported third-quarter earnings.


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