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Zurich prosecutor charges former Raiffeisen bank chief Vincenz

The former Raiffeisen CEO has been dogged by suspicions of conflict of interest during his tenure as Raiffeisen boss, during which he personally invested in subsidiaries of the banking group. Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

The Zurich public prosecutor has accused the ex-CEO of Swiss bank Raiffeisen Pierin Vincenz of fraud, embezzlement and bribery following a two-year criminal investigation.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the district attorney general said that it had closed the criminal investigation and was bringing charges against nine people, including Vincenz as well as the former head of credit card company Aduno. The main defendants are accused of commercial fraud, embezzlement, forgery and bribery to the detriment of Aduno and Raiffeisen.

In February 2018, Zurich prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into Vincenz and several others over suspected misconduct. Vincenz was accused of illegally enriching himself by making personal investments in two Raiffeisen subsidiaries, Aduno and Investnet. Raiffeisen bank also joined the criminal probe as a plaintiff.

Vincenz was taken into custody while the Zurich prosecutor gathered evidence. He was eventually released after 15 weeks behind bars.

Vincenz headed Raiffeisen from 1999 to 2015 during a period of expansion. Raiffeisen is Switzerland’s third largest banking group after UBS and Credit Suisse and one of four banks that the Swiss financial regulator considers “too big to fail”.

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