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Credit Suisse Accuses Former COO Of Another Employee Spying Case

Neer Varshney

Zurich-based investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) on Monday confirmed a second spying case reported by Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung earlier last week.

What Happened 

The Swiss bank said that a member of its executive board, Peter Goerke, was placed under “observation” by a private detective agency in February.

According to Credit Suisse’s internal investigation, the following was ordered by the bank’s former chief operating officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee.

The bank said the chief executive officer Tidjane Thiam and all other board members were neither involved nor aware of the spying.

Why It Matters

A similar case of following the bank’s former wealth management head Iqbal Khan was reported earlier in September.

Another Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung had at the time reported that Credit Suisse hired external detectives to follow Khan and see whether he was trying to get the bank’s employees to join him in switching over to the rival bank, UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS).

The bank had similarly found Bouee to be responsible for the snooping and exonerated Thiam.

“The observation of Peter Goerke, which has now been confirmed, is inexcusable. It is of grave concern that the responsible individuals failed to answer truthfully about this observation during the external investigation in [September],” Urs Rohner, the chairman of Credit Suisse’s board of directors, said in a statement.

“We are aware that the observations of Iqbal Khan and Peter Goerke have damaged the reputation of our bank. With the measures that we have put in place, we are sending a clear message that the Board of Directors firmly rejects a culture of observation,” Rohner added.

Credit Suisse said that it would cooperate in an inquiry launched by watchdog Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority into the matter last week.

The bank also faces a criminal lawsuit filed by Khan earlier in September.

Price Action

Credit Suisse's stock closed 2.22% lower at $13.24 on Friday.

Photo Credit: Rillke via Wikimedia

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