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Credit Suisse private banker steps down over role in property farce

Credit Suisse private banker steps down over role in property farce

A Credit Suisse private banker has reportedly stepped down over his part in an abortive attempt to build a £1 billion 75-storey residential tower in Canary Wharf.

The Swiss company told the Guardian that a member of its staff, believed to be high net-worth specialist Hans Olaf Eldring, had left the business.   

The deal, which was revealed in a front-page Financial Times story last November, involved a previously little-known Irish entrepreneur with a chequered business record, Tom Ryan.

Ryan had reportedly raised £100 million to fund the tower, which would have Europe’s tallest residential structure. In March the site owner Barclays revealed that it had been sold to a Chinese state-owned property fund, however.

Eldring was believed to be part of a team of Credit Suisse bankers courting investors to the deal. His departure was first reported by business news blog Betaville and subsequently confirmed by the Guardian, which conducted an investigation of Ryan at the time of the original announcement.   

‘We acted swiftly when an allegation of wrongdoing was brought to our attention. We are unable to comment further due to ongoing investigations,’ a bank spokesperson told the newspaper.

A spokesperson for Ryan denied wrongdoing. ‘Our lawyers are aware of the blog from which these questions arise and it is our view that it is litigious [sic] and fundamentally and factually incorrect.

‘It appears to be, in part, sponsored by way of confidential material leaked by certain individuals from, or acting on behalf, of certain companies. This immediately raises suspicions about the motivation of those leaking the material. It is our view that the media are being used mischievously.’

Supporting documents supplied to potential investors had been flagged by Credit Suisse as ‘not what they were supposed to be’.

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