Wednesday 22 November 2017

Credit Suisse faces inquiry into its role in tax evasion

An illuminated logo sits on a wall outside a Credit Suisse Group AG office in Zurich, Switzerland
An illuminated logo sits on a wall outside a Credit Suisse Group AG office in Zurich, Switzerland

Credit Suisse faces the threat of a new investigation into its role in helping wealthy Americans avoid paying taxes after New York state's top financial regulator requested documents from the Swiss bank.

Switzerland's second-largest lender raised expectations it was putting the American tax controversy behind it when it set aside an extra half-a-billion dollars last week to deal with a US Department of Justice probe into its involvement in offshore tax evasion.

But Benjamin Lawsky, New York's financial services superintendent, is now examining whether the bank lied to New York authorities about creating tax shelters, raising the prospect of a new probe, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Shares in Credit Suisse dropped in Zurich yesterday.

"There is still a lot of uncertainty around all these legal issues at Credit Suisse. Nobody can tell how much it will really cost in the end," said Peter Stenz, portfolio manager of Swiss equities at Swisscanto.

After years of stalemate as Bern and Washington clashed over a wider tax dispute, there have been recent signs that Credit Suisse was closing in on a deal with US authorities.

In February, the bank reached a 196 million franc (€160m) settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in a related tax dispute and a few days later chief executive Brady Dougan apologised to US senators for the bank's misconduct but blamed it on a small group of rogue bankers and said it stopped in 2008.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business