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Banker payout under the spotlight

A top banker has defended controversial bonus payments of SFr3 billion ($2.83 billion) for managers announced by the Credit Suisse bank last week.

“Those who made CS so successful can now reap the benefits,” said Oswald Grübel, former chief executive of CS and currently head of the rival UBS bank.

Grübel said the bank had introduced the bonus system in 2005 to commit its top managers with a long-term programme of incentives.

“This is exactly what the public wants all the banks to do now,” he told the Sonntag newspaper.

Grübel added that the bank was coming in for unfair attacks in the current political and economic situation.

However, the head of the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, Patrick Raaflaub, criticised the premium payments.

The system allows for high bonuses in case of higher share prices, but it does not foresee minus points, he is quoted as saying.

Both CS and UBS have been paying bonuses this year. UBS paid nearly SFr3 billion despite making a loss of SFr2.74 billion last year.

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