Credit Suisse blames former COO for covering up spying case
The bank confirms it was behind the second spying scandal despite first saying first it was a one-off
Zurich — Credit Suisse on Monday cleared CEO Tidjane Thiam and other top executives from knowledge of a second spying incident. COO Pierre-Olivier Bouée arranged for the Swiss bank’s then head of human resources to be followed in February and then covered it up, it said.
Switzerland’s second-biggest bank confirmed it was behind the second internal spying scandal to surface in 2019 after a newspaper report last week gave details of former HR head Peter Goerke’s being tailed. The matter comes as an embarrassment to Credit Suisse after an earlier probe into spying on wealth management executive Iqbal Khan depicted the incident as a one-off.
“The observation of Peter Goerke, which has now been confirmed, is inexcusable,” chairperson Urs Rohner said in a statement, noting “grave concern” that those responsible for the tailing had not mentioned it during the earlier probe. “We are aware that the observations of Iqbal Khan and Peter Goerke have damaged the reputation of our bank,” he said.
An investigation by law firm Homburger into spying on Khan — which became public in September after the departing executive confronted a private detective pursuing him and his wife through Zurich, triggering a criminal probe — found that only Bouée and the security boss under him were responsible for the order and found no evidence of other cases.
Both resigned, and now Bouée has been sacked.
The latest probe, also conducted by Homburger, determined that Bouée had lied when asked about any other surveillance orders and had taken care not to leave any identifiable traces in the bank’s systems.