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Credit Suisse wins case against Lehman Brothers victim

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11:51 CET+01:00

A former Credit Suisse client, Hugo Rey, has lost his case in the Supreme Court against the Swiss banking giant despite the late discovery of evidence that appeared to support his cause.

Rey invested some 50,000 francs ($54,129) in Lehman Brothers in November 2007, less than one year before the bank collapsed.

Rey maintains that he had specifically instructed the bank not to invest in US products on his behalf, and claims his advisor had never mentioned that the bank was American.

In response to the losses made from the Lehman Brothers affair, Credit Suisse offered certain clients, Rey included, compensation of up to 60 percent.

Rey refused the lesser sum, and has since then been pursuing the issue as a matter of principal, at an estimated personal loss of 130,000 francs ($140,747), a sum he described as "my pension" to newspaper Tages Anzeiger.

The court said it had difficulty believing Rey knew nothing of the US aspect to certain of his investments. In particular, lawyers pointed to another US investment, ‘Activest Total Return’, that was made in 2005, the newspaper reports.

“In the court's opinion, we have listed several indications that show that Mr. Rey’s zero percent US strategy has not been followed consistently,” said Danièle Wüthrich-Meyer, Vice-President of the Bern Commercial Court, which also ruled against Rey.

According to Rey's lawyer, Michael Lauper, crucial evidence went missing from the commercial court in the form of a product description received by Rey concerning the 2005 investment. Rey said this description, contrary to the bank’s claims, contains no mention of the fact that the company was American.

Rey also maintained that the missing information sheet contains notes written in the hand of the client advisor, suggesting that the advisor, not the client, made the decisions on the investment.  The court has denied that any documents went missing.

Credit Suisse lawyers provided a fact sheet they said the client had received prior to the US investment in Activest Total Return, and which does reflect the US nature of the investment.

Rey, however, pointed out that the sheet provided was dated in 2009 and included a logo, which had only been introduced by the bank on such information sheets in 2006. Sadly for Rey, the realization that this could simply not have been the sheet he had received at the time was only made after the initial trial in the commercial court.

Since the Supreme Court was only obliged to consider evidence presented to the lower court, copies of the relevant documents were not taken into account.

"The Supreme Court made things very easy for itself," a disappointed Michael Lauper told Tages Anzeiger.

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