After media outlets reported findings of coordinated investigations into a leak of data on thousands of accounts held at the bank in previous decades, Switzerland’s financial authority said it was in contact with Credit Suisse.
The information on the accounts, which were held in decades ranging from the 1940s to the 2010s, was provided to Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung by one person. It was shared with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and 46 other news organisations by the German newspaper.
The bank’s clientele were accused of being human rights violators and businesspeople who had been sanctioned, according to the charges. A spokeswoman for the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) informed a news outlet, “We are aware of the publications.” “For years, compliance with money laundering legislation has been a focal point of our supervisory actions,” FINMA noted.
Credit Suisse has denied any misconduct charges. More than 18,000 accounts with a total value of more than $100 billion were included in the stolen data. At early trading, shares in Switzerland’s second-largest bank, which had already come under pressure following a succession of risk-management scandals and a 1.6 billion Swiss franc loss in 2021, reduced early losses to trade modestly down.
In response to the consortium’s claims, Credit Suisse released a statement saying, “Credit Suisse firmly rejects the allegations and insinuations concerning the bank’s stated business operations.” The issues raised are mostly historical… and are based on selected, fragmentary material taken out of context, leading to skewed assessments of the bank’s business practises.
“Credit Suisse is acutely aware of its obligation to its clients and the financial sector as a whole to uphold the highest ethical standards. These media charges appear to be part of a coordinated campaign to denigrate the bank and the Swiss financial system, which has experienced substantial changes in recent years,” the statement said.
In the last three weeks, the bank claimed it had received “many questions” from the consortium and had evaluated several of the accounts in concern. “Approximately 90% of the reviewed accounts are now closed or in the process of closure prior to receipt of the press enquiries, with over 60% of them closed prior to 2015,” the report stated.
“We are confident that proper due diligence, reviews, and other control-related measures were completed in accordance with our existing structure for the remaining active accounts.” We will continue to investigate the situation and, if required, take further action.”
Credit Suisse also supplied further information on a number of issues. Following a “preliminary investigation” of “a substantial number of accounts” about which reporters inquired, the bank stated that “more than 90%” of those accounts are now “closed or in the process of closure.”
“We are comfortable that sufficient due diligence, reviews, and other control related measures, including pending account closures, were done for the remaining active accounts,” a Credit Suisse official stated.
Credit Suisse has a “strong zero tolerance attitude for tax evasion,” “only desires to engage with tax compliant clients,” and “has created several client tax compliance initiatives across multiple countries,” according to the spokesman.
Credit Suisse has “stringent control systems in place” to prevent money laundering, according to the spokesman, and “conducts name screening in accordance with industry norms… both at onboarding and in respect to existing accounts.”
“We take immediate and decisive action if we detect any ties that may have been utilised for [money laundering] or other criminal conduct,” the spokesman added.