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posted: 8/27/2012 5:59 AM

Julius Baer says employee stole data on German offshore clients

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Julius Baer Group Ltd., the Swiss wealth manager established in 1890, is contacting wealthy German customers after an employee stole information on their offshore bank accounts in Switzerland.

"We launched an internal investigation and we discovered a case of data abuse," Jan Vonder Muehll, a spokesman for the Zurich-based bank, said today by phone. "We are in contact with potentially affected clients."

The suspected data thief was fired by the company and arrested, according to Vonder Muehll, who declined to give further details of the theft. SonntagsZeitung reported the information theft yesterday, citing an interview with Julius Baer Chief Executive Officer Boris Collardi.

Julius Baer said Aug. 22 it had contacted some German clients because of speculation over data theft and the acquisition of CDs by German authorities. North-Rhine Westphalia, a state run by Germany's Social Democratic Party, has regularly been the subject of reports it bought CDs with Swiss account information on wealthy Germans.

Julius Baer agreed last year with German authorities to pay 50 million euros ($63 million) to end an investigation over undeclared client assets in a separate case of data theft.

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