Switzerland initiates probe against Credit Suisse over spying scandal

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank continues to be dogged by the scandal that erupted last year after it spied on star banker Iqbal Khan who was leaving for rival UBS Group AG
Switzerland’s financial regulator started enforcement proceedings against Credit Suisse Group over the spying on former employees that led to the ouster of ex-chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam.

The move marks an escalation of regulatory involvement in the scandal, which has also seen probes by Swiss prosecutors. Finma said it will pursue indications of violations of supervisory law and in particular the question of how these activities were documented and controlled.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank continues to be dogged by the scandal that erupted last year after it spied on star banker Iqbal Khan who was leaving for rival UBS Group AG. Later it emerged that Credit Suisse’s ex-human resources chief Peter Goerke had been monitored, and a former US executive also said she had been followed.

Chairman Urs Rohner turned to Thomas Gottstein, a two-decade Credit Suisse veteran, to restore investor confidence after ousting Thiam. The bank said in a statement Wednesday that it takes note of Finma’s decision and will continue to fully cooperate.

“The Board of Directors and the Executive Board of Credit Suisse agree and unequivocally affirm that the observation of employees is not part of the culture of Credit Suisse,” Credit Suisse said. “No further comments can be made at this stage until findings are presented by Finma.” An internal Credit Suisse probe had concluded that Thiam didn’t know about the spying, and that Chief Operating Officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee was responsible. Bouee was fired late last year.

Finma launched its own investigation in December, appointing an independent auditor to clarify corporate governance questions and the use of electronic communications in connection with the spying.

Finma undertakes enforcement proceedings after concluding initial investigations. Based on the evidence and responses from the concerned parties, Finma decides on the measures to be imposed.



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