Switzerland ramps up probe into Credit Suisse over spying scandal

The scandal erupted last year when the bank's wealth management boss was followed through the streets of Zurich by detectives

Switzerland's financial regulator has ramped up its probe into Credit Suisse by unveiling plans to dig deeper into an explosive spying scandal that led to the exit of its former boss Tidjane Thiam. 

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) has begun enforcement proceedings against the bank after opening an investigation last year following a spying case that gripped the Swiss banking world. 

The scandal first erupted in September when it emerged that Credit Suisse's former wealth management boss Iqbal Khan had been chased through the streets of Zurich by detectives hired to track him after he quit to work for arch-rival UBS. 

What the bank initially said was a rogue spying case widened as details emerged of other instances of surveillance. In December, it was forced to admit it spied on a second member of staff, its former HR chief Peter Goerke.   

Finma said that its enforcement proceedings could take several months. The probe will focus on "indications of violations of supervisory law in the context of the bank’s observation and security activities" and "the question of how these activities were documented and controlled". 

Former chief executive Tidjane Thiam, who also happened to be Mr Khan's neighbour, left in February despite several key Credit Suisse investors being vocal advocates of him remaining. Mr Thiam said he knew nothing about the surveillance of Mr Khan or Mr Goerke and the bank said he had no involvement in the spying affair.

Tidjane Thiam denied knowledge of the spying operation Credit:  FABRICE COFFRINI/ AFP

A Credit Suisse spokesman said the bank "will continue to fully co-operate with Finma and is determined to support the effort to ensure a complete and expeditious conclusion of the review of this episode and incorporate lessons learned".

"The board of directors and the executive board of Credit Suisse agree and unequivocally affirm that the observation of employees is not part of the culture of Credit Suisse."