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Credit Suisse settles with star banker over spying scandal

Credit Suisse settles with star banker over spying scandal

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

GENEVA: Credit Suisse reached an out-of-court settlement with former star wealth manager Iqbal Khan over a spying scandal that cost the scalp of the then-chief executive, Switzerland's second-biggest bank said on Sunday (Jul 26).

CEO Tidjane Thiam was forced to resign in February 2020 after admitting the bank had hired investigators to follow Khan, head of international wealth management, because he had opted to move to arch-rival, UBS.

As well as sending shockwaves through banking circles, the case sparked a criminal probe in Switzerland.

"All parties involved have agreed to end the case," Credit Suisse spokeswoman Simone Meier told NZZ am Sonntag, which revealed the agreement. Meier declined to comment further when contacted by AFP.

The public prosecutor of the canton of Zurich has also ended his investigation, as the complaints have been withdrawn, NZZ am Sonntag reported.

READ: Evidence of further surveillance at Credit Suisse mounts up: Report

Thiam's resignation followed a torrid six-month scandal that began with revelations in the Swiss press that Khan had been shadowed by agents from a private detective company hired after he joined UBS.

At one point, Khan physically confronted the people following him.

In October, chief operating officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee resigned, acknowledging at the end of an internal investigation that he "alone" had ordered the tailing without informing his superiors.

He had wanted to ensure that Khan was not trying to poach other employees, according to the internal investigation.

The case was reopened in December 2019 when the bank admitted to a second case of espionage, this time involving the former head of human resources, and then in February after media reports that the surveillance had also targeted the environmental organisation Greenpeace.

Source: AFP/aj

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