Credit Suisse snooped on Greenpeace, newspaper says

The bank has been under attack for its investments in fossil fuels. Keystone / Walter Bieri

The Credit Suisse bank, which was rocked by an internal spying scandal last year, also conducted ‘espionage’ against Greenpeace, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung has reported.

This content was published on February 2, 2020 - 16:00

Credit Suisse’s former Chief Operating Officer Pierre-Olivier Bouée allegedly ordered the head of security to infiltrate the environmental NGO after the bank’s 2017 annual meeting in Zurich had been disrupted by activists, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

The bank then managed to gain access to Greenpeace emails about planned upcoming demonstrations, which it then prepared for, for example by erecting building sites to prevent activists getting too close to its buildings.

Neither Credit Suisse nor Greenpeace gave further details on the affair, although the bank said that its CEO Tidiane Thiam was unaware of the operation.

For his part, Bouée was dismissed in December over another spying scandal that made headlines through last year, when it turned out the bank had been conducting surveillance on former executive board members Iqbal Khan and Peter Goerke.

FINMA, Switzerland’s market supervisor, is currently investigating this case.

The affair has heightened internal struggles at Credit Suisse, where a “showdown” is expected at next week’s board meeting, according to the SonntagsZeitung. It speculates that either Thiam or chairman Urs Rohner is on the way out.

Credit Suisse has come under attack by climate and environmental activists largely due to its investments in fossil fuels. Last month, a court in Lausanne acquitted a group of activists who had staged a tennis match on the bank’s premises. The acquittal is to be appealed.

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