Credit Suisse Chief Operating Officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee is resigning immediately for his role in a spying scandal that has embroiled the bank in controversy over the past few weeks.
Credit Suisse reportedly hired security firm Investigo to investigate Iqbal Khan, a former top executive.
In a statement posted online, Credit Suisse’s board of directors said “the observation of Iqbal Khan was wrong and disproportionate and has resulted in severe reputational damage to the bank.”
The key findings of the investigation include:
- Aug. 29: When UBS announced the employment of Iqbal Khan, Credit Suisse’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) ordered the Credit Suisse Head of Global Security Services to initiate the observation of Iqbal Khan.
- During the Homburger investigation, the COO said that he alone, in order to protect the interests of the bank, decided to initiate the observation of Iqbal Khan, and that he did not discuss it with Credit Suisse’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), any other member of Credit Suisse’s Executive Board, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse or the Chairman of its Audit Committee.
- The Homburger investigation did not identify any indication that the CEO had approved the observation of Iqbal Khan nor that he was aware of it prior to September 18, 2019, after the observation had been aborted.
- Neither the Homburger investigation nor the observation of Iqbal Khan identified any evidence that Iqbal Khan had attempted to poach employees or clients away from Credit Suisse, contrary to his contractual obligations.
Adding another twist to the story, Inside Paradeplatz, a Swiss financial blog, is reporting that a Credit Suisse contractor who hired Investigo has been found dead by suicide. The contractor reportedly killed himself on Tuesday, according a lawyer for Investigo.
The contractor hired the investigators to tail Khan, who moved to be the co-head of rival bank UBS’s wealth management department.
Credit Suisse was worried that Khan, who begins work at UBS today, would convince other employees to jump ship with him, according to a Bloomberg report.
Reports say Investigo was instructed to take pictures of Khan and identify people he met with, but not get close to him or break any laws in doing so.
Khan found out he was being watched and approached an investigator in his car and confronted him, attempting to take pictures of him with his cell phone. The investigator reportedly blocked the pictures with his hand and then later, with two other men, confronted Khan and his wife, leading to a physical altercation over the phone.
Khan filed a complaint and several people were arrested, though, Credit Suisse claimed the reporting of the confrontations was inaccurate and “sensationalized.” Investigo said its employees acted defensively in the physical confrontation.
Khan was reportedly overlooked for a promotion at Credit Suisse during company reorganization, and he left the company five months later.