ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss financial supervisor FINMA said on Wednesday it has opened enforcement proceedings against Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) in the 2019 spying affair that toppled the bank’s leadership and tarnished its reputation.
FINMA opened the proceedings after an auditor appointed last December completed its investigation of Credit Suisse, which has acknowledged surveillance activities against former wealth management boss Iqbal Khan, now at UBS (UBSG.S) as well as former human resources head Peter Goerke.
“FINMA … will pursue indications of violations of supervisory law in the context of the bank’s observation and security activities and in particular the question of how these activities were documented and controlled,” the watchdog said in a statement.
Ex-Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam resigned in February in the case that roiled Zurich’s banking scene, contending that he knew nothing of the spying activities but acknowledging that it caused anxiety and pain.
In response to FINMA’s enforcement proceedings, Credit Suisse said it would cooperate “to ensure a complete and expeditious conclusion of the review of this episode and incorporate lessons learned.”
Credit Suisse reiterated previous statements that spying on its employees was not part of its culture.
The bank’s own internal probe, carried out by a Zurich law firm last year, had found then-Chief Operating Officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee initiated spying on Khan, who had led Credit Suisse’s wealth management activities, including pursuing him through the streets of Zurich to see if he was trying to poach former colleagues to join him at UBS.
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