ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss prosecutors are investigating former Raiffeisen [RFSHW.UL] Chief Executive, Pierin Vincenz, on suspicion of breach of trust linked to cashless payments business Aduno and private equity firm Investnet, the Swiss bank said on Wednesday.
The criminal case against the former banking and insurance executive turns up the pressure on Vincenz, who denies wrongdoing but has been forced to resign from all his major business roles.
Zurich prosecutors confirmed Vincenz was a target of an investigation they had opened into a former chairman and a former board member at Aduno and three business associates that triggered searches of homes and offices on Tuesday.
Raiffeisen, Switzerland’s third-biggest bank, is a major shareholder of Aduno [ADUNO.UL]. It said it had filed a criminal complaint against Vincenz, who stepped down as group CEO in 2016.
“It was a shock for me when the police were standing at my door yesterday morning. I am completely surprised and astounded by this criminal investigation,” Vincenz, 61, told the Blick tabloid.
“I vehemently deny the allegations against me and will defend myself with all available means,” he added.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said in December it had ended proceedings into Vincenz, which became redundant following his resignation from financial institutions.
Vincenz has said the FINMA probe related to his handling of conflicts of interest while with Raiffeisen, and that he believed he had treated the potential conflicts with the necessary care.
He has also resigned as chairman of insurer Helvetia (HELN.S) and said last month he would not stand for re-election as chairman of the Repower board of directors.
Reporting by Michael Shields and Silke Koltrowitz, editing by Louise Heavens and Elaine Hardcastle