Credit Suisse hit again as Finra panel sides with second former broker on deferred compensation

Former Credit Suisse broker receives arbitration award of $975,530

Nov 7, 2018 @ 2:53 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

A Finra arbitration panel has awarded $975,530 to a former Credit Suisse Securities broker who sought deferred compensation that he claimed was withheld when the Swiss bank closed its brokerage business in 2015.

Nicolas Brine Finn, who now works at UBS Financial Services, worked at Credit Suisse for seven years until it shuttered its brokerage operation three years ago, offering Wells Fargo & Co. exclusive rights to recruit its brokers.

At that time, Credit Suisse employed about 315 brokers in 13 U.S. offices.

Approximately 100 of those brokers went to work for Wells Fargo. Some of the remaining 215 brokers reached settlement agreements with Credit Suisse.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. arbitration award follows a similar award last month when former Credit Suisse broker Brian Chilton was awarded $844,621 in deferred compensation.

Mr. Finn and Mr. Chilton are just two of several former Credit Suisse brokers who filed arbitration claims against the firm for allegedly withholding money it owed them.

Credit Suisse spokeswoman Karina Byrne, in an email response to a request for comment, referenced that some former Credit Suisse brokers have already been compensated by their new employers through signing bonuses.

"We note that the arbitration panel in this case largely rejected the claimant's meritless monetary claims," she wrote. "We continue to believe that no one is entitled to recover the same dollar twice, and we will continue to defend our bank against meritless attempts to do so, as we have in many other proceedings where former brokers have abandoned such claims."

Barry Lax, partner at the law firm of Lax & Neville, who represented both Mr. Chilton and Mr. Finn, disputed the Credit Suisse defense that the former brokers are being compensated twice.

"They've made that argument in both cases, and both times the arbitration panels rejected it," he said. "Credit Suisse would never get a reduction of its liability based on a future event involving a future employer."

Brokers that went to Wells Fargo received their deferred compensation from Credit Suisse, but for many of the rest, Credit Suisse has taken the position that they left voluntarily even though it was closing the brokerage business.

"Credit Suissee is defending it becasue there is a significant pot of money they're trying to save," Mr. Lax said.

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