ZURICH (Reuters) - Geneva prosecutors have opened legal proceedings against a suspended Credit Suisse banker accused of violating his fiduciary duties in a case brought by wealthy Turkish families who say they lost 300 million Swiss francs ($296 million), SonntagsZeitung reported.
Two independent Turkish asset managers who oversaw money for wealthy clients that was deposited in Credit Suisse accounts are suspected of illegally covering up losses linked to the Turkish lira’s collapse in 2013, the newspaper reported.
The suspended Credit Suisse employee is blamed for not halting transactions made by the Turkish asset managers, even after significant deficits piled up, the newspaper reported.
“These continued, extraordinary losses should have alarmed the bank,” a lawyer for one of the wealthy Turks who lost money in the alleged scam told SonntagsZeitung.
A phone call seeking comment from the Geneva prosecutors office was not answered late Sunday afternoon.
The suspended Credit Suisse banker, whom the newspaper said faces prison should he be convicted in Geneva courts, contends he did nothing wrong and that he cleared transactions with his superiors.
“My client denies all the accusations,” his lawyer told the newspaper.
Credit Suisse said no criminal proceeding had been opened against the bank.
“The current criminal investigation is not targeted at Credit Suisse, it is mainly focused on representatives of (the Turkish fund managers’ firm),” a Credit Suisse spokeswoman in Zurich said.
“We cannot comment on this matter in view of the ongoing investigation. Credit Suisse complies with all applicable laws and regulations in all countries in which it operates.”
The bank, which notified authorities in March 2015 after learning of the losses through one of the alleged Turkish victims, earned about 80 million francs in commissions from the transactions, SonntagsZeitung reported.
The bank did not confirm the commission figure.
($1 = 1.0130 Swiss francs)
Reporting by Mark Potter