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The cash bonus clawbacks don't seem to be working.

More Credit Suisse traders are leaving for rivals

It's the time of year when bonuses have been paid (unless you're at Nomura) and when all sorts of people in investment banks can therefore be expected to be tempted by jobs elsewhere. 

Credit Suisse is no exception, despite its attempts to tie people in with clawbacks on their cash bonuses. Even though anyone who leaves CS now has to repay almost their entire cash bonus and the income tax that the bank paid the government, Credit Suisse people are quitting all the same.

The latest two exits are both in New York City. Insiders say that both Greg Karcich, head of U.S. sales trading and Keith Peterson, head of technology, media and telecoms trading, have disappeared in the past week or so. Both were managing directors. It's unclear where either man is headed. 

Both Karcich and Peterson had been Credit Suisse loyalists. Karcich joined in 2013 according to his FINRA profile; Peterson joined in 2004.

Traders at Credit Suisse are understood to be unhappy not just with the new bonus structure and cash clawbacks upon exit, but with the bank's decision to claw back previous years' unvested share bonuses following last year's CHF3.7bn loss in the investment bank. Some are thought to have discussed bringing a class action against the bank in the U.S.

The disgruntlement comes as Credit Suisse reins in risk taking and reduces capital allocated to its investment bank. There have also been suggestions that the closure of the prime broking business following the Archegos errors will make it difficult for CS to operate a viable equities sales and trading business in the future.

It may be no coincidence that both Karcich and Peterson came from the equities division. However, Credit Suisse has lost traders from other teams too: two senior precious metals traders left in Europe earlier this month. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
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