Credit Suisse Ordered to Pay $926M to Ex-Georgian PM in Fraud Case

In a groundbreaking ruling, a court in Singapore has ordered Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse to pay $926 million in compensation to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the former prime minister of Georgia.

by Faruk Imamovic
SHARE
Credit Suisse Ordered to Pay $926M to Ex-Georgian PM in Fraud Case

In a groundbreaking ruling, a court in Singapore has ordered Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse to pay $926 million in compensation to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the former prime minister of Georgia. The landmark judgment marks a crucial development in a decade-long dispute rooted in alleged financial fraud.

A Decade of Contention

The roots of Ivanishvili's quarrel with Credit Suisse can be traced back to 2011 when he was a client of the bank and fell victim to fraudulent activities perpetrated by a private banker. Patrice Lescaudron, the banker in question, was reported to have manipulated Credit Suisse accounts for personal business purposes.

Despite his suicide in 2020, Lescaudron's actions continue to plague the bank's reputation. Credit Suisse had initially argued that the banker was an adroit fraudster who successfully concealed his illicit activities from his coworkers and superiors.

However, the court's verdict cast doubt on this narrative. Judge Patricia Bergin, in her written judgment, asserted that the bank's conduct was far from reasonable. "It preferred the importance of Mr. Lescaudron in retaining the big client, the plaintiff, with the Credit Suisse organization to the compliance with its core obligation of keeping the Trust assets safe," she stated.

Implications and Repercussions

The International Trade Court in Singapore's order for the local branch of Credit Suisse to compensate Ivanishvili, the billionaire former Georgian leader, could set a precedent for future cases involving client-bank disputes.

The judgment also sends a clear message to banking institutions worldwide about the importance of maintaining trust with their clients. In the aftermath of the verdict, a Credit Suisse spokesperson expressed the bank's disagreement, indicating an impending appeal.

They argued that the ruling was flawed and raised significant legal questions. However, the former Georgian prime minister's spokesman countered these claims, urging Credit Suisse to comply with the law and the verdict. "Despite the judgment in Bermuda last year and the admission of breach of duty during the Singapore trial, Credit Suisse has continued to frustrate our clients' efforts to seek redress for the crimes committed by its employees," the spokesperson explained.

Swiss
SHARE