Credit Suisse , Switzerland's second-largest bank, is taking a tougher stance on bonuses as regulators clamp down on these payouts which came under fire during the economic crisis.

Credit Suisse said the threshold for deferred variable compensation programs would be lowered from 125,000 Swiss francs ($129,200) to 50,000 francs, meaning that more employees than before would be subject to restrictions in their variable rewards.

The bank also said that deferral rates have been increased to a range of 35 percent to 70 percent, resulting in a lower portion of employees' variable awards being paid in cash.

Credit Suisse deferred variable awards contain a general provision that enables the bank to cancel outstanding awards made to employees in the event they engage in activities that result in, or have the potential to result in, material harm -- financial, reputational or other -- to the bank, Credit Suisse said in a statement.

The Swiss government said in December it started the legal process to tighten regulation of its biggest banks, including the right to force banks that are bailed out by the state to make changes to bonuses and even potentially cancelling payouts completely.

(Reporting by Katie Reid and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Mike Nesbit)