Spy game? Credit Suisse Draws Questioning Over Handling of Oversight

Credit Suisse is under fire for its alleged role in spying on its own executives.

Credit Suisse has been under fire this past year for its bizarre handling of internal affairs at the lender. This includes several concerns in which the Swiss lender was spying on some of its own personnel, calling into questing the ethics and legality of this behavior, per a Reuters report.

Nearly every large-scale company, including lenders, employs some sort of oversight program. Many of these steps are designed to improve accountability and transparency in what is a massive industry, responsible for the handling of millions of dollars every day.

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However, it appears Credit Suisse has overstepped its bounds, instead opting to outwardly spy on former executives. Credit Suisse, for its part, is currently under investigation by Swiss regulatory authority FINMA for its handling of this scandal, which still has unanswered questions.

“The use of external security companies is not a supervisory issue per se. In this case, however, we still have unanswered questions about governance, such as documentation, control, information behavior and communication channels,” explained Thomas Bauer, Chairman of FINMA to Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.

Friendly fire

As recently as last month, Credit Suisse had admitted to spying on multiple former executives, which openly stoked interest and more questioning in an ongoing investigation.

The unusual situation focused on putting its ex-wealth management chief under surveillance, which appears to have been a rogue operation.

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Amidst this questioning, more information is coming to light, in which Credit Suisse, possibly under the direction of COO Pierre-Olivier Bouee, had hired detectives to track HR boss Peter Goerke early last year.

The development follows on an earlier episode, which pinpointed blamed Bouee for a similar incident that also focused on the former wealth management boss Iqbal Khan.

At the time, this was claimed to be an isolated incident with Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam unaware of what was happening.

Industry integrity at stake?

With the second high-level executive now under surveillance, FINMA is now trying to ascertain any additional involvement. Mr. Thiam had previously been cleared in the prior incident.

The issue stands to unmask a rather ugly side of the financial industry, which no doubt could cast a shadow over what has been a beleaguered industry in recent years.

The financial industry has seen its share of scandals and brushes with regulators, resulting in fines and damaged reputations. Finance Magnates will update the story as it continues to develop.

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