Fresh scandal for beleaguered Credit Suisse after it emerges Vatican charity cash was invested in a luxury London property
Credit Suisse has been hit with another lawsuit – this time in a deal involving the Vatican, a luxury London property and a high-flying fund manager.
The beleaguered bank is accused by Raffaele Mincione of failing to tell him that money invested in his fund group WRM came from donations the Vatican earmarked for the needy.
Instead, the cash was put into a WRM fund which purchased 60 Sloane Avenue, in London’s Knightsbridge district which was formerly used by Harrods.
Property deal: Credit Suisse is accused by Raffaele Mincione of failing to tell him that money invested in his fund group WRM came from donations the Vatican earmarked for the needy
Credit Suisse is reeling from involvement in the Greensill Capital and Archegos Capital implosions, and recently brought in a chairman, having ousted former Lloyds boss Antonio Horta-Osorio who broke lockdown rules to visit Wimbledon.
Mincione faces proceedings in the Vatican, where he has been charged him with fraud and embezzlement, which he denies.
Companies connected to WRM originally bought the flash London building in 2012 for £129million, the Financial Times reported.
But two years later, a separate WRM fund, which included money from the Vatican’s charitable Peter’s Pence pot, bought a stake in it at a much higher valuation.
The Vatican snapped up the rest of the building in 2018, and prosecutors say Mincione’s firms made a big profit.
More than £300million of Vatican donations were invested in 60 Sloane Avenue between 2014 and 2018.
Mincione denies any wrongdoing, and says the Vatican was advised by its own banks, including Credit Suisse.
He is bringing a claim against fund administrator, Citco.
WRM said Credit Suisse and Citco kept information from Mincione ‘to cover up the exact origin of the said money in the framework of the relationship between [Credit Suisse and Citco] and the Vatican’.
Credit Suisse said it ‘will defend itself vigorously against this claim brought by WRM, which is unfounded and without merit’.