Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Hildebrand affair


Duo fined for revealing ex-SNB chief’s bank details


 See in other languages: 3  Languages: 3

A politician and a former bank IT worker have been given suspended fines for their part in revealing the private bank details of ex-Swiss National Bank (SNB) boss Philipp Hildebrand. The leak led to Hildebrand’s resignation as central bank president in 2012.

A Zurich court ruled on Wednesday that a former Bank J Safra Sarasin employee illegally conspired with a rightwing People’s Party cantonal politician to reveal Hildebrand’s personal bank records in 2011. The data showed large foreign exchange transfers weeks before the SNB intervened to stabilise the Swiss franc.

The transfers were then published in the media, leading to accusations that the SNB boss had indulged in insider trading. An investigation proved this allegation to be baseless as Hildebrand’s then wife had conducted the trades. But the row heaped so much pressure on Hildebrand’s head that he was forced to step down in January 2012, just two years into the job.

The Zurich court handed out suspended fines to both the former Sarasin employee and canton Thurgau politician Hermann Lei. The judge handed out a more sever fine for Lei because his role was motivated by “furthering his political career” rather than idealistic thinking.

The verdicts are subject to possible appeals.

Currency policy

At the time of the leak, the People’s Party was campaigning against the SNB policy of buying up large amounts of euros to defend the franc. Hildebrand was a personal target of such political attacks.

People’s Party strongman Christoph Blocher was also implicated in the leak, but no charges were laid following a police investigation that took evidence from his offices and one of his homes.

Hildebrand has since divorced from his wife and taken up a new job at United States investment firm BlackRock.

The SNB had to abandon its euro-franc peg in January of last year as the cost of maintaining the CHF1.20 exchange rate was proving too burdensome. The central bank’s foreign currency reserves had rocketed to record levels and would have grown even faster had the peg remained in place.


 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

Copyright

All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.

×