ISSN 2330-717X

Switzerland: Bank Targets Weltwoche Over Hildebrand Reports


The bank from which data was stolen in the Hildebrand affair has complained to the Swiss Press Council about reports published in Weltwoche magazine.

Philipp Hildebrand resigned as chairman of the Swiss National Bank on January 9 amidst a scandal in which he was accused of profiting from his knowledge of the bank’s monetary policy to make advantageous currency trades.

Hildebrand maintained that his wife had ordered the controversial currency trades which were detailed in private banking details leaked by an IT worker at Bank Sarasin.

Bank Sarasin said in a statement on Monday that its complaint refers to “erroneous reporting” by the weekly Weltwoche magazine.

At the height of the scandal, the Weltwoche, known for its close ties to the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, declared that it had “proof” that Hildebrand, and not his wife, had indulged in insider dealing.

“Bank Sarasin believes Weltwoche seriously failed to meet its journalistic duties in various respects in the knowledge that this would damage Bank Sarasin’s reputation and the reputation of the client adviser wrongly given as a source,” the bank said in a statement on Monday.

“Not only did Weltwoche fail to check its own source adequately, but in the edition of January 5, 2012, it deliberately ignored information from Bank Sarasin and the opportunity to talk to the bank, which would have meant the erroneous reporting could have been corrected beforehand.”

Police are investigating the leaking of the Hildebrand family’s banking data as a possible breach of Switzerland’s banking secrecy law.

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swissinfo is an enterprise of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to inform Swiss living abroad about events in their homeland and to raise awareness of Switzerland in other countries. swissinfo achieves this through its nine-language internet news and information platform.

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