May 8, 2014 / 5:17 PM / in 4 years

Advisor opposes Credit Suisse bonus plans ahead of AGM

ZURICH, May 8 (Reuters) - An influential advisory group has encouraged Credit Suisse shareholders to vote against plans to issue new shares for staff bonuses ahead of the Swiss bank’s annual general meeting on Friday.

The U.S.-based ISS opposes the Zurich-based lender’s request to more than treble its conditional capital to 1.6 million Swiss francs ($1.8 million), it wrote in a recommendation to Credit Suisse shareholders.

The group hopes to build on the near-25 percent support it helped drum up against a similar initiative last year.

ISS objects to the 7.8 percent of share capital the equity rewards would comprise of if the allocation were ratified, as well as a lack of performance targets in place to earn the payouts.

Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest lender, has come under scrutiny as it faces a possible $1 billion-plus fine from the U.S. Justice Department for helping Americans evade U.S. taxes and criticism for not shrinking its investment bank enough.

ISS supported the overall pay plan, which is among other proposals that will be put to shareholders. The plan gives Chief Executive Brady Dougan a 26 percent pay rise, to 9.8 million francs.

Other shareholder groups including Swiss-based Ethos, Actares and ZCapital have recommended investors vote down Credit Suisse compensation policies entirely.

The compensation vote is non-binding, though it will be from next year if a proposed amendment is ratified at the AGM.

Credit Suisse declined to comment.

$1 = 0.8781 Swiss Francs Reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by Susan Thomas

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