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Ex-SNB President Hildebrand Under Swiss Investigation

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s state prosecutor opened a probe into former central bank President Philipp Hildebrand after allegations he broke secrecy laws.

An unidentified individual made the complaint in July 2012, said Marc Bubeck, a spokesman for BlackRock Inc., where Hildebrand now works as vice chairman in London. The Swiss prosecutor’s office in Bern confirmed the investigation in an e-mail today, without giving details.

Hildebrand, 50, served as president of the Zurich-based Swiss National Bank for two years until January 2012, when he resigned after a currency purchase of $504,000 by his wife, three weeks before the SNB imposed a currency cap in September 2011. Details of the transaction became public after they were passed on by an employee of Hildebrand’s bank.

“Mr. Hildebrand absolutely rejects any allegations of wrongdoing and is providing the attorney general with whatever assistance is necessary to resolve this matter,” Bubeck said in the e-mail. “The pending proceedings were not initiated by the attorney general itself, but are based on this complaint.”

The investigation was first reported by Swiss magazine Weltwoche.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Bosley in Zurich at cbosley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fergal O’Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net

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