Credit Suisse Gets in Trouble for Manipulating IT Systems to Hide Losses

Credit Suisse is a Swiss multinational financial company with operations in more than 50 countries. Over the last three years, it has constantly been in news for controversies of money laundering, fraudulent banking and tax evasion. This time, Credit Suisse has come under the radar of the FBI again, when a four-year-old case is seeing some development. Credit Suisse has been found guilty of fabricating bank records to hide its losses. This case is of special interest to the feds, as the hidden losses amount to half a billion dollar. Nonetheless, it is of special interest to IT professionals, because it involves tampering of data by back-office employees.

Here the fault is of two employees at Credit Suisse, who circumvented a mandatory real-time reporting system, and instead, entered falsified and manual, profit and loss figures. However, the profit and loss figures did not match the product’s business, as its value had collapsed. Computer World reports this situation, saying,

The traders, David Higgs, 42, and Salmaan Siddiqui, 36, pleaded guilty to attempting to manipulate around $3 billion in subprime mortgage-backed securities on order to reduce how bad losses looked. A large amount of the alleged activities took place in Credit Suisse’s London offices in Canary Wharf, as well as in New York.

This raises serious concern on IT practices in companies that handle critical back-office jobs. Fabricating data can disrupt the balance of cash flow across multiple channels, causing a gridlock like situation. However, an equally big concern here is that of ethics. Is it right for managers to ask employees to manipulate system data, and what should an ethical employee do to walk out of such a situation without repercussions? Do not forget to read this Stack Exchange page for some expert advice.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.