Glass Lewis backs Credit Suisse management pay scheme

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at a branch in Winterthur, Switzerland November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Proxy adviser Glass Lewis recommended Credit Suisse CSGN.S shareholders approve top management pay at the group's April 27 annual general meeting, despite still harboring some concerns about the transparency of the Swiss bank's pay plans.

“In the past two fiscal years, Glass Lewis has retained severe reservations in supporting the company’s executive

remuneration practices, as consistently high payouts did not seem to reflect the financial results,” Glass Lewis said in a report for shareholders.

“While we still identify a number of relatively serious issues with the structure and disclosure of incentive plans, we believe the amendments introduced in 2018 to be overall positive and we find payout levels to better reflect the performance of the company and its management team.”

Credit Suisse revealed a revised payment scheme for top management in March, hoping to ease shareholder concerns as it completes a major overhaul by introducing a returns-focused policy and lowering 2017 rewards.

Glass Lewis last year recommended rejecting management’s 2016 cash bonuses before Switzerland’s second-biggest bank agreed to make sizeable cuts. While the reduced short-term bonuses were finally approved by shareholders, support plummeted to 59.5 percent.

In the document seen by Reuters on Thursday, Glass Lewis said it retained concerns over high short-term payouts for top executives, as well as reduced transparency in the performance metrics introduced under a new bonus scheme, but found the amended incentives to be sufficiently in line with performance.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Oliver Hirt, editing by John Revill and Adrian Croft