Swiss probe central bank chief transactions leak

5th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

Swiss prosecutors on Thursday launched a criminal inquiry into the case of a former bank worker who allegedly leaked details on the currency transactions of central bank chief Philipp Hildebrand.

A probe is under way into the 39-year-old ex-employee of Bank Sarasin & Cie "for breaching federal banking laws," the Zurich prosecutors office said in a statement.

It said the case concerned the onpassing of bank data to a third party.

"This bank data relates to currency transactions of the head of the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) family," the statement added.

A controversial dollar purchase by Hildebrand's wife Kashya has sparked major speculation in Switzerland over insider trading.

An SNB probe, launched after details of the $504,000 transaction emerged in December, found no breach of banking rules.

The currency swap was made in August, just weeks before an intervention by the SNB to halt the rise of the franc -- a move that saw the dollar rise significantly against the Swiss currency.

Bank Sarasin said on Tuesday it had dismissed an employee over the alleged transmission of details to a lawyer close to the far-right Swiss People's Party whose chief is a Hildebrand critic.

© 2012 AFP

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