Credit Suisse to axe 2,000 more investment banking jobs
By Michael Shields
ZURICH (Reuters) - A slump in investment banking revenues pushed Credit Suisse (CSGN.S: Quote) to accelerate its cost-cutting plan as Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam admitted he had been unaware of trading positions that triggered more big writedowns in the first quarter.
Switzerland's second-biggest bank said on Wednesday it would shave an additional 800 million Swiss francs ($821 million) off costs and cut 2,000 more jobs from its Global Markets division.
The unit is expected to record a 40 to 45 percent drop in first-quarter revenues and is selling off holdings of illiquid assets that the bank's senior management had not had on its radar.
Asked in an analyst call who would be held responsible for about $1 billion in losses on its illiquid credit portfolio over the past two quarters, Thiam said things had clearly gone wrong but the bank was now confident the problems had been identified.
"We can't have the CEO and a CFO in a bank surprised by something like that," Thiam said on a media call.
Thiam later said he had total confidence in finance chief David Mathers and global markets head Tim O'Hara.
The first quarter is normally the most lucrative period for the industry, when investors put their money to work at the start of the year, but this year revenues have been hit by record low interest rates, low commodity prices and slower growth in emerging markets.