Swiss press unswayed by CS moves to deal with spy scandal

CS chairman Rohner (right) together with an another board member and a representative of a consultancy left the Swiss press wondering about the corporate governance at the bank. Keystone/Ennio Leanza

The main Swiss newspapers agree that the Credit Suisse bank has not done enough to dispel further rumours over a spying scandal.

This content was published on October 2, 2019 - 12:07

Commenting on Tuesday’s announcement by the CS board of directors, the tabloid Blick, the Tages-Anzeiger group of newspapers, the Le Temps daily as well as the prestigious Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) invariably call for more transparency to prevent further damage to Switzerland’s second biggest bank.

“It is not yet over for Credit Suisse,” says a syndicated editorial in Wednesday’s edition of the Tages-Anzeiger, Der Bund, Berner Zeitung and Basler Zeitung.

“CS has not been able to remove chief executive Tidjane Thiam from the firing line,” the editorialist says.

Blick argued that the explanations given by CS chairman Urs Rohner may be sufficient to calm the stock market and investors, but it is not enough.

“Only by creating absolute transparency can Rohner smooth the ruffled feathers about a scandal that drew international attention.”

For the Geneva daily Le Temps, Rohner’s apologies about the mishandled surveillance of Iqbal Khan, head of the CS international wealth management unit, have left scars that won’t go away easily.

“The message by the CS board is that of a company with serious corporate governance issues.”

The NZZ, which traditionally has close links to the business community, is equally critical of first steps taken by CS to limit damage.

“CS CEO Thiam cleared – but doubts remain,” the editorialist says.

As long as the bank shirks away from shedding light on the personal rivalries, the “Khan affair” will remain a liability.

“This cannot be in the long-term interest of the bank, its employees, clients and shareholders.”

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