Credit Suisse staff prepare to hand back their phones

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The bank is no longer covering the cost of the handsets as part of a cost-cutting drive and staff must source new phones and contracts if they want to keep current work mobile numbers, according to people impacted.

Staff still using work-issued devices were first told about the move in the autumn.

It affects all business lines and one of the people said some employees were busy obtaining PAC codes – to allow them to keep existing numbers – and searching Canary Wharf, where Credit Suisse has its London HQ, for shops selling handsets that will support the bank’s email software.

Credit Suisse will continue to pay for contracts, the person said.

It is not the first big bank to look at reining in costs in this way.

FN reported early this year that a number of investment banks – JP Morgan, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank among them – were making changes to the way their employees handle work emails and calls in a bid to bring costs down.

Staff at JP Morgan in London were told in the summer that the bank was moving to a ‘bring your own device’ policy, according to a person close to the move; only those who travel a lot “where it makes economic sense for them to have a company-owned phone” still carry a work device, the person said.

Deutsche Bank is also trying to encourage more people to use their own devices, a person close to the bank said, although it has no formal policy in place.

Credit Suisse is in the midst of a wider cost-cutting exercise under chief executive Tidjane Thiam. Earlier this month it said that it was lowering targets it had set for its investment banking and asset management arms “given the challenging market conditions that we are facing”.

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