Investigation Says Credit Suisse Handled Dirty Money | Banking News


The largest leak from a major Swiss bank included information on more than 18,000 bank accounts with a collective value of $100 billion.

Credit Suisse has handled billions of dollars in dirty money for decades, according to an international media investigation based on a massive data leak in the latest setback by Switzerland’s second-largest bank.

The bank held more than 7 billion euros ($8 billion) in the accounts of criminals, dictators, perpetrators of human rights abuses and businessmen who had been subjected to sanctions, according to the survey released Sunday by a group including dozens of media organizations.

Credit Suisse rejected the “allegations and insinuations”, saying in a statement that many of the issues raised were historical, with some dating back more than 70 years.

Shares of the bank, which had already been under pressure after a series of risk management failures and a heavy loss in 2021, were indicated down 1.8% in premarket activity.

According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a nonprofit journalism group, the “Switzerland SecretsThe investigation began when an anonymous source shared bank details with German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung more than a year ago.

This information, covering accounts worth a collective $100 billion at their peak, was scanned by 48 news outlets around the world, including The New York Times, Le Monde and The Guardian.

The accounts identified as problematic held more than $8 billion in assets, according to the investigation.

The accounts included those held by a Yemeni spy chief implicated in torture, the sons of an Azerbaijani strongman, a Serbian drug baron and bureaucrats accused of plundering Venezuela’s oil wealth.

It is the largest leak ever by a major Swiss bank, OCCRP said.

“Tendant interpretations”

The leak included information on more than 18,000 bank accounts, many of which “remained open well into the 2010s”, OCCRP said.

“Credit Suisse strongly rejects the allegations and insinuations regarding the bank’s alleged business practices,” the bank said in its statement on Sunday.

“The cases presented are primarily historical, in some cases dating back to the 1940s, and the accounts of these cases are based on partial, inaccurate or selective information taken out of context, resulting in biased interpretations of the bank’s business conduct. “

About 90% of the accounts reviewed were closed – or were in the process of being closed – before the press approached the bank, he continued, and more than 60% of them had been closed before 2015.

“Of the remaining active accounts, we are satisfied that appropriate due diligence, reviews and other control-related actions have been taken in accordance with our current framework,” the statement added. “We will continue to analyze the issues and take additional action if necessary.”

In a statement on its website, OCCRP said, “We believe the dozens of examples we have cited raise serious questions about Credit Suisse’s effectiveness and commitment to accountability.”

He said the investigation had found dozens of “questionable characters” in the data, including some linked to government officials.

Among those listed as holders of accounts with Credit Suisse were the sons of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

When asked why so many of these accounts exist, current and former Credit Suisse employees described a work culture that encouraged risk-taking to maximize profits, according to OCCRP.

“I have seen too many times corrupt criminals and politicians who can afford to carry on business as usual no matter what the circumstances because they have the certainty that their ill-gotten gains will be kept safe and forever. within reach,” OCCRP co-founder Paul Radu said in a statement.

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