Second Credit Suisse spying probe expected to clear CEO

ZURICH, Dec 22 (Reuters) – A second probe into staff surveillance at Credit Suisse is set to clear Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday.

Credit Suisse last week said it had initiated an investigation after a Swiss newspaper reported that its former head of human resources, Peter Goerke, was followed by private detectives in February.

That revived concerns about the bank’s practices after the tailing of wealth management star Iqbal Khan in September led to a scandal and upheaval in Credit Suisse’s highest ranks.

An investigation ordered by the bank had concluded the surveillance on Khan — now employed by UBS — was a one-off, organised by then-Chief Operating Officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee and the security boss under him, both of whom resigned.

But law firm Homburger, which conducted the investigation, said deleted messages on a secure messaging platform used by Bouee and security personnel had limited the scope of the findings.

FILE PHOTO: Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam of Swiss bank Credit Suisse speaks during the Forum 100 conference in Lausanne, Switzerland May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Credit Suisse said on Friday the new inquiry was nearing completion, with results to be published on Monday.

SonntagsZeitung, citing unnamed sources, reported on Sunday that the investigation, also conducted by Homburger, had substantiated the claims surrounding Goerke but had so far found no evidence of further instances of shadowing, nor that CEO Thiam knew private detectives had been hired to tail the two executives.

The investigation is continuing, with only interim findings to be communicated on Dec. 23, the paper reported.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on the contents of the SonntagsZeitung article. A spokesman said the bank would communicate on Monday as previously announced.

Finance watchdog FINMA is also examining the issue of staff surveillance at Credit Suisse and on Friday appointed an independent auditor to clarify relevant corporate governance questions.

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A criminal investigation into Khan’s tailing — which came to a head when the wealth manager filed a police report following a confrontation with one of the detectives as he and his wife drove through Zurich — is ongoing.

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(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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