UBS wants new recruit Khan to drop criminal complaint over spying: paper

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ZURICH (Reuters) – UBS (S:) wants Iqbal Khan, co-head of its wealth management business, to drop his criminal complaint over a spying scandal that emerged after he left cross-town rival Credit Suisse (S:), the SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

UBS’s board would welcome it if Khan abandoned his complaint against the three private detectives who followed him during his last weeks as a Credit Suisse employee, the paper said, citing sources close to the UBS board.

The board at Switzerland’s biggest lender thinks a trial cold pose dangers for Khan and the bank, especially if new details emerged that could incriminate Khan, the paper said.

It could also be embarrassing for Khan if prosecutors dropped the proceedings without a result, it added.

Khan, who left Switzerland’s second-biggest bank in July and began working at UBS in October, was under surveillance by private detectives hired by Credit Suisse from Sept. 4 to Sept. 17, when he spotted them.

The affair saw suicide and espionage invade the secretive world of Swiss private banking, and exposed a feud between Khan and Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam.

Credit Suisse has cleared Thiam of involvement in the affair, which was blamed on Chief Operating Officer Pierre-Olivier Bouee, Thiam’s right-hand man. Bouee resigned following the investigation.

“We are not commenting on the ongoing criminal proceedings,” UBS said on Sunday. “We are very happy to have Iqbal Khan in our team. He is concentrating fully on his role at UBS and is in close contact with employees and clients.”

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