|Credit Suisse spied on seven executives, regulator says |
Switzerland’s financial regulator Finma says efforts by Credit Suisse to spy on top executives were broader than previously known, and senior managers were aware of at least some of the seven surveillance campaigns it documented, refuting the lender’s claims that rogue employees were to blame. The report from the regulator, which says the bank breached Swiss supervisory law, concludes a nearly two-year investigation into the spying scandal that ultimately precipitated the departure of CEO Tidjane Thiam. Credit Suisse had previously acknowledged that it surveilled two executives in 2019. Two additional cases were reported by the Wall Street Journal whereby private investigators were hired to follow one employee in New York suspected of using confidential information and another Asia-based employee in Asia who had threatened colleagues. Credit Suisse said on October 19th that additional incidents cited by Finma were planned by a small group of former executives and were partly aimed at protecting employees’ physical safety. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse is to pay $475m in fines and forgive $200m of debt owed by Mozambique in a series of co-ordinated settlements with four regulators in three countries over the company’s role in the long-running “tuna bonds” loan scandal. The Swiss bank has reached separate agreements with the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and Switzerland’s Finma over the affair. The loans were said to be aimed at government-sponsored investment schemes including maritime security projects and a state tuna fishery – but some funds were unaccounted for, with one of Mozambique’s contractors later found to have secretly arranged “significant kickbacks” worth at least $137m, including $50m for bankers at Credit Suisse meant to secure more favorable deals on the loans, according to regulators.