The Swiss bank Credit Suisse has admitted that it had authorized private detectives to track the movements of a second executive of the company which revealed the extent of the extraordinary corporate espionage scandal at the bank.
In February this year, private detectives hired on behalf of the bank had followed the former head of human resources of the bank Peter Goerke for “several days”, the bank has confirmed. This revelation followed an earlier news that private detectives hired by the bank had chased down Iqbal Khan, the former head of the bank’s wealth management division on the streets of Zurich in September.
Credit Suisse had said previously that the incident involving Khan was one of its kind and that the chief executive of the company, Tidjane Thiam, was not made aware of the incident. However a second similar case related to Goerke was revealed by the bank on Monday while again reiterating that Thiam was unaware of this incident also.
According to reports, the company had started investigating Goerke after he was informed that he would be removed from the executive team and demoted to a senior adviser role.
The blame for both the incidents was put on the bank’s former chief operating officer Pierre-Olivier Bouée. He resigned in October after the Khan incident was uncovered.
According to reports, private investigators were hired to follow the movements of Khan was trailed for several days in September. That was soon after he had quit his job at the bank and had taken up a job at the rival bank UBS. Reports stated that the relations between the bank and Thiam had sourced over time and resulted in a confrontation over landscaping at their neighbouring properties on Lake Zurich.
In the incident of Khan being followed on the streets of Zurich by private detectives had resulted in a car chase and gad culminated in a confrontation. Following that incident, the private security consultant hired by Bouée for this case had reportedly committed suicide.
“The observation of Peter Goerke, which has now been confirmed, is inexcusable. It is of grave concern that the responsible individuals failed to answer truthfully about this observation during the external investigation in September 2019,” said Urs Rohner, the chairman of the board of directors at Credit Suisse.
“We are aware that the observations of Iqbal Khan and Peter Goerke have damaged the reputation of our bank. With the measures that we have put in place, we are sending a clear message that the board of directors firmly rejects a culture of observation,” Rohner added.
The individuals of the bank responsible for the corporate espionage incident involving Khan had lied to the bank, Credit Suisse said and added that the “individuals responsible did not respond truthfully” when they were questioned about whether they had arranged for any other spying cases. The internal systems of the bank had no traces of the incident the bank said.
“Further investigations are being conducted and Credit Suisse will continue to look into any relevant indications,” a Credit Suisse spokeswoman said.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)