A former wealth manager at one of HSBC Holding Plc's private banking subsidiaries in Geneva, who cannot be identified under Swiss law, was accused of stealing 3 million Swiss francs ($3.2 million) from his Turkish clients over the past two years, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
According to Bloomberg, the heist of the ex-HSBC employee stayed undetected for two years thanks to his tactic of stealing not more than 10,000 francs at one time.
The million-dollar heist was only discovered after the wealth manager withdrew a larger amount than usual, leading to alarm. The ex-employee even targeted the bank's cash desk, claiming he was withdrawing money for his clients and then falsifying their signatures, Bloomberg cited a report by Tribune de Geneve.
"This case is about a former employee engaging in misconduct for his personal financial gain," said HSBC spokesman Michael Spiess. "As soon as we had suspicions we launched an internal investigation, terminated his employment and passed the case to the relevant authorities," he added.
The suspect was reportedly questioned by Geneva police. A spokesman for the Geneva prosecutor's office confirmed that the ex-HSBS wealth manager is being accused of criminal mismanagement, forgery and breach of trust. His lawyer Hadrien Mangeat declined to comment on the accusations.
According to Tribune de Geneve, the suspect had an accomplice and up to 15 victims; however, the numbers have not yet been confirmed by the local prosecutor's office.