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FINMA Begins Enforcement Proceedings Against Credit Suisse in Spy Scandal

The Swiss regulator has escalated pressure on the investment bank over a surveillance scandal that led its CEO to resign.

Posted: 2nd September 2020 by Finance Monthly
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The Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Switzerland’s financial watchdog, announced on Wednesday that it had opened enforcement proceedings against Credit Suisse over a spying scandal that came to light in 2019.

In a statement, FINMA said that it would “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,” adding that such proceedings “can be expected to take several months.”

Credit Suisse announced that it would cooperate with the investigation “to ensure a complete and expeditious conclusion of the review of this episode and incorporate lessons learned.”

FINMA’s announcement follows the completion of a review of the bank’s corporate governance and its surveillance of former employees. The employees targeted were former head of wealth management Iqbal Khan, who was leaving for a post in Suisse Credit rival UBS, and former head of human resources Peter Goerke.

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Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam resigned in February amid the investigations, maintaining that he was not aware of the spying operation. An internal probe by the company concluded that COO Pierre-Olivier Bouee bore responsibility, leading to Bouee’s termination.

Thiam has since been replaced as CEO by banking veteran Thomas Gottstein.

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