According to SonntagsZeitung, the bank Credit Suisse has been spying on Greenpeace.
Nearly three years ago, the environmental organisation thwarted security and disrupted the bank’s general assembly with a stunt aimed at shaming Credit Suisse for financing Energy Transfer, a company involved in the construction of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline running through reserves in the US state of Dakota. Greenpeace said the environmental risks were too high. Pipeline supporters claimed it would reduce emissions by taking oil trucks off the roads.
After this, Credit Suisse chief of staff Pierre-Olivier Bouée ordered the surveillance of former Greenpeace management board members Peter Goerke and Iqbal Khan and had the company spied on, according to SonntagsZeitung as reported by RTS.
SonntagsZeitung claims Credit Suisse had access to internal Greenpeace mails, which gave it advanced warning of protests. In addition, it appears the bank erected fake construction barriers outside certain buildings to help keep protestors at a distance.
When asked for comment a Credit Suisse spokesman said: “We do not comment on security issues.”
Tidjane Thiam, the bank’s CEO since 2105, was not personally involved in the organization of the general assembly or the surveillance, according to the bank.
Greenpeace itself had not noticed the infiltration and is now looking at the leak.
On 7 February 2020, CEO Tidjane Thiam resigned, although he denied knowledge of the operations.
Speaking to RTS, bank President Urs Rohner said that at some point we realised that we couldn’t get out of this situation unless we made a change and Tidjane Thiam understood that too, he said.
Thiam will leave on 14 February 2020 to be replaced by Thomas Gottstein, the head of the bank’s Swiss business.