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Credit Suisse to cut further 1,500 jobs in cost-cutting drive, sources say

Credit Suisse is to axe 1,500 jobs in London by the end of the year as the Swiss bank continues its ruthless cost-cutting drive, it is understood.

Some 2,500 London staff cuts took place last year as part of a major restructuring introduced by chief executive Tidjane Thiam in a bid to shave costs to less than 17 billion Swiss francs (£13.6 billion).

This brought the number of Credit Suisse employees in the City from over 9,000 in November 2015 to 6,500 by the end of last year.

The intention is to reduce headcount in the UK further to 5,000 by the end of 2017, according to industry sources.

The possibility of further cuts had been highlighted by chief financial officer David Mathers back in February.

In its first quarter results announcement, the bank also said it was planning a further global headcount reduction of around 5,500 staff. But the breakdown for the UK was not given.

It is thought that contractors and consultants will be the main casualties of the cuts.

Brexit is not understood to be the primary factor in the cull, with staff reductions having started before last year's EU referendum.

But Brexit may well have also played a part in the decision to reduce headcount in the City.

Daniel Regli, sell-side analyst at MainFirst, said: "I would assume a significant part of the staff cuts being made by Credit Suisse are in the Global Markets division, as that is where the bank is looking to save costs.

"Credit Suisse has been undergoing a strategic shift to focus more on wealth management, and less on Global Markets.

"Therefore, given a large part of its Global Markets business sits in London, quite naturally a big share of the cuts are to be made there."

But he added that even though the UK's divorce from the EU was not the main reason for the decision to reduce headcount in the City, it was "definitely not a hindrance" either.

"Facing Brexit, the decision to cut jobs in London versus anywhere else was probably easier," he said.

Many financial services firms are looking to shift jobs from London to the continent amid fears they will lose crucial EU trading rights after the UK leaves the bloc.

Passporting rights allow banks to trade freely across the EU, but Britain looks set to lose access unless it agrees an equivalent regime when it exits the European single market.

Another Zurich-based bank, UBS, has also said it could move up to 1,500 of its London staff to the continent in the wake of Brexit.

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