Credit Suisse concealed more than $700m from US govt: Senate

Findings add to the woes of the Swiss investment bank


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A woman walks past a logo of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse in Zurich. - AP
A woman walks past a logo of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse in Zurich. - AP

Published: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 9:27 PM

Embattled Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has failed to disclose more than $700 million in previously undeclared accounts since 2014, in violation of a plea deal with the US Department of Justice, a Senate committee said Wednesday.

The findings of the two-year Senate Finance Committee probe add to the woes of the Swiss investment bank, which was pushed to merge with regional rival UBS earlier this month after suffering contagion from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

"At the center of this investigation are greedy Swiss bankers and catnapping government regulators," committee chair Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement as the findings were released.

"The result appears to be a massive, ongoing conspiracy to help ultra-wealthy US citizens to evade taxes and rip off their fellow Americans."

In a statement sent to AFP, Credit Suisse said the bank "does not tolerate tax evasion."

The Senate report "describes legacy issues, some from a decade ago," which the bank has sought to address by implementing extensive enhancements "to root out individuals who seek to conceal assets from tax authorities," it said.

"Credit Suisse is also actively cooperating with US authorities including the DOJ to address some remaining legacy conduct or policy concerns, and will continue to do so," the statement said.

Credit Suisse pleaded guilty in 2014 to attempting to aid and assist US taxpayers in filing false income tax returns.

As part of a plea deal with the Justice Department, the bank paid a fine of more than $1 billion and agreed to make a complete disclosure of its cross-border activities, disclose previously undeclared accounts and cooperate with requests for account information.

The committee found Credit Suisse had "violated key terms of its plea agreement," in particular by not informing the DOJ when it moved close to $100 million from a previously undisclosed account belonging to a family with US citizenship to other Swiss banks.

The committee also accused Credit Suisse bankers of "knowingly and willfully" aiding and abetting "offshore tax evasion" by US businessman Dan Horsky to the tune of $220 million, according to the statement.

Israel's Bank Leumi may have also violated its own agreement with the DOJ by assisting with a transfer of tens of millions of dollars out of Credit Suisse and into Bank Leumi accounts in Israel, the committee said.

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