Ex-C.Suisse chairman calls Dougan's 90 million Sfr payout a 'mistake'

Reuters
CEO Dougan of Swiss bank Credit Suisse addresses a news conference in Zurich
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CEO Brady Dougan of Swiss bank Credit Suisse smiles as he addresses a news conference to present the bank's half-year results in Zurich July 25, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (VTX:CSGN) made a "mistake" by paying Chief Executive Brady Dougan nearly 90 million Swiss francs (62.26 million pounds) in 2010 under two different payout plans, the board member who oversaw the payment said in a television interview on Monday.

As anger at multi-million dollar payouts for executives spread following the financial crisis, Dougan sparked a public outcry when he took home 19.2 million francs in cash and stock in 2009, and was also paid 70 million francs worth of stock under a bonus plan for 2004.

"That was certainly a mistake. Today, such a programme would be structured differently: we have limits and the salary would be smaller," said Walter Kielholz, Credit Suisse's chairman until 2009, in an interview with Swiss television's "Eco" business programme.

Pay for Dougan, CEO of the bank since 2007, has been far more modest in recent years: last year, it rose by one-third to 7.8 million francs, while that of the Swiss bank's highest earner, Robert Shafir, rose to 10.6 million francs, from 8.5 million in 2011.

The pay admission comes one week after Credit Suisse underwhelmed investors with its plan to shrink interest rate trading after revenue and profit at its investment bank slid in the third quarter.

Kielholz is now an ordinary Credit Suisse board member; his term expires in May. A bank spokesman confirmed Kielholz's comments.

Through a Credit Suisse spokesman, Dougan declined to comment.

Several weeks ago, current Credit Suisse chairman Urs Rohner voiced similar, though less critical, sentiment about Dougan's previous pay.

The public anger has sparked a raft of other proposals set to come before Swiss voters, including one to limit monthly executive pay to no more than what the company's lowest-paid staff earn in a year.

The Swiss government has urged voters to reject that plan, saying it could hurt the attractiveness of Switzerland as a business destination.

Swiss voters in March backed some of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on compensation.

($1 = 0.8955 Swiss francs)

(Reporting By Katharina Bart, additional reporting by Albert Schmieder; editing by David Evans)

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