Investigation dropped against former SNB head

Philipp Hildebrand was accused of insider trading Keystone

This content was published on November 23, 2014 - 13:57 and agencies

Swiss prosecutors have ended a criminal investigation into the breaking of professional confidentiality by Philipp Hildebrand, the former president of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) who resigned in 2012. 

The case had been brought by Christoph Blocher, the billionaire figurehead of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, who had said Hildebrand had told the media of Blocher’s role in the affair. 

Hildebrand resigned in January 2012 after emails cast doubt on his claims not to have known about a foreign exchange trades made by his wife in August, weeks before the SNB moved to stop the Swiss franc climbing. 

Hildebrand was accused of insider trading after details of the currency transactions were leaked. He denied the charge, maintaining his wife ordered the transactions without his prior knowledge, calling the accusations a “smear campaign”. 

Blocher, a vocal critic of Hildebrand’s actions while chairman of the SNB, was allegedly given information about the trade, but he has denied handling any original banking documents in the matter and said that he merely relayed information to the then cabinet minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. 

This “relaying” was reported by the NZZ am Sonntag and SonntagsZeitung at the beginning of 2012, prompting Blocher’s lawsuit. 

But on Sunday the Federal Prosecutor’s Office confirmed a report in the NZZ am Sonntag, saying it was no longer possible to ascertain who had given information about Blocher’s role to the media.

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