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Credit Suisse reaches deal with former employee in spying case

The affair exploded in autumn 2019 when it emerged that Credit Suisse had private detectives tail Khan, a former head of wealth management who had left the bank for competitor UBS. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The Swiss bank and its former top manager Iqbal Khan have agreed to end all pending criminal proceedings in a 2019 spying affair that toppled the company’s top brass.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency, a spokesperson for Credit Suisse confirmed a report in the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that, following an agreement between “all parties”, the matter was now closed.

Credit Suisse did not provide more details about the settlement. It is not clear if in addition to Khan, the detective agency hired by the bank to tail Khan and his wife in 2019 was also part of the agreement.

The public prosecutor’s office of the Canton of Zurich told the German-language newspaper that criminal charges were withdrawn “a few days ago”.

The affair exploded in autumn 2019 after it was revealed that Credit Suisse had private detectives tail Khan, who had led the bank’s wealth management division before moving to competitor UBS, and his wife. Zurich police subsequently opened a criminal probe.

The Khans also filed a criminal complaint against the detective agency Investigo, which then filed its own criminal complaint against the Khans.

Leaders resigned

The affair had far-reaching consequences. A contractor who served as a middleman in the case committed suicide. It also emerged that the bank had spied on another former top manager, Peter Goerke.

CEO Tidjane Thiam, who claimed to have been unaware of the spying activities, resigned in February 2020.

An internal investigation found then-chief operating officer Pierre-Olivier Bouée had initiated the spying. He later resigned.

Both Khan and UBS declined to comment to Reuters.

A spokesperson for the Swiss financial watchdog FINMA told the news agency that its probe into the affair, which it launched last year, was ongoing.

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