Credit Suisse says observation of Peter Goerke is unacceptable

Maria Nikolova

Credit Suisse has issued a statement regarding the observation of Peter Goerke, a former member of its Executive Board.

Credit Suisse has earlier today issued a statement regarding investigations into new observation allegations.

The announcement by the bank is issued just several days after the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said it was appointing an independent auditor to investigate Credit Suisse in the context of its observation activities. On Friday, December 20, 2019, the regulator said the observation activities carried out by Credit Suisse raise various compliance issues.

The latest scandal concerns the observation of Peter Goerke, a Member of the Executive Board at the time, He was placed under observation by a third-party firm on behalf of Credit Suisse for a period of several days in February 2019.

Today, Credit Suisse said that its Board of Directors has carried out internal and, with the support of Homburger AG, external investigations into this matter.

The investigation concludes that Pierre-Olivier Bouée, a former Member of the Executive Board, issued the mandate to have Peter Goerke put under observation. As was the case with Iqbal Khan, this observation was carried out via an intermediary.

During questioning by both the Board of Directors and Homburger following the Iqbal Khan matter, the responsible individuals did not respond truthfully when asked about any additional observations and did not disclose the observation of Peter Goerke. Furthermore, when organizing and carrying out the observation of Peter Goerke, they took care not to leave any identifiable trace in the bank’s systems.

Credit Suisse notes that the new investigation by Homburger did not find any indication that the Group CEO Tidjane Thiam, other Members of the Executive Board, or Members of the Board of Directors had any knowledge of the observation of Peter Goerke until media reported on it.

The Board of Directors considers the observation of Peter Goerke to be unacceptable and completely inappropriate, Credit Suisse stresses, adding that this operation and the subsequent observation of Iqbal Khan do not correspond to the corporate culture of Credit Suisse as promoted by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors apologizes to Peter Goerke for the observation.

As a consequence of the Iqbal Khan matter, the Board of Directors has already put safeguards in place to ensure that such incidents are not repeated. These include personnel decisions and the mandate to implement more rigorous internal policies. On top of that, the Board of Directors has now decided to terminate for cause the employment agreement with Pierre-Olivier Bouée.

Credit Suisse says it will keep cooperating with FINMA and with the FINMA-appointed independent auditor.

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