29/04/2021 • Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Sues Billionaire Over Rogue-Banker Report

Credit Suisse Group AG is suing a Georgian billionaire and his communications adviser over their decision to publish a copy of a report from Switzerland’s banking regulator on its handling of a former banker convicted of fraud.

The two sides locked horns in a court hearing in London on Thursday, where late in the day Credit Suisse won an extension of an injunction forcing the report to be removed from the csvictims.com website until a trial is held. The public relations firm behind the website, Metigen, had asked the court to lift the injunction.

Judge Rowena Collins Rice said that she made this ruling on the basis that the bank is more likely than not to succeed on its claim for confidentiality at trial, a legal test it had to pass in order to get the injunction extended. A date for trial has not yet been set. Lawyers for Metigen said they would like to apply for permission to appeal the decision.

The dispute is the latest in a long-running battle between the Swiss bank and investors who fell victim to Patrice Lescaudron, who was convicted of orchestrating a scheme to fake trades to cover losses that ran into the millions of dollars. The investors, including former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili who is also a defendant in the London lawsuit, believe Credit Suisse should bear some responsibility for the rogue banker’s crimes.

In February, Metigen posted a copy of the critical 2017 report, authored by a Zurich law firm hired by finance regulator Finma, even after Credit Suisse had previously won a ruling from a Swiss court keeping the document confidential.

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