• Thiam says he'll take biggest cut after $5.8 billion loss
  • Lender is cutting bankers' variable pay 11% this year

Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam asked the board to cut his bonus after Switzerland’s second-largest bank reported its biggest quarterly loss in seven years.

Thiam told SonntagsZeitung in an interview published on Sunday that he “asked the board to substantially cut my bonus. Within the leadership team I am taking the biggest cut. I can’t demand sacrifices from others and not make any myself.” A spokesman at the Zurich-based lender confirmed the remarks, without elaborating on how much of a reduction Thiam asked for.

Credit Suisse shares are trading at a 25-year low and plunged Thursday, when the bank reported a fourth-quarter loss of 5.8 billion Swiss francs ($5.8 billion). Thiam said that day that the lender would cut variable pay by 11 percent, with bonus cuts of more than 30 percent at divisions that “underperformed” in 2015.

Remuneration is a “battle ground,” Thiam said at a conference last month, adding that investment bankers are unwilling to accept cuts to their compensation. Credit Suisse’s bonus pool dropped to 3.27 billion francs for 2014 from 3.61 billion francs a year earlier.

Thiam asked the board to cut his bonus by 25 percent to 50 percent, the Financial Times reported, without saying where it obtained the information. The bank is scheduled to disclose compensation figures in coming months.

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