Credit Suisse Bank "Helped" Tax Dodgers, Claims US Report
Switzerland's Credit Suisse Bank allegedly aided US customers to avoid billions of dollars' worth of taxes.
This is one of the conclusions in a report by a US congressional subcommittee investigating into tax evasion.
Bankers from the financial institution helped clients conceal their Swiss accounts and even create offshore shell enterprises to design transactions to, thus diverting suspicions from themselves, the panel in charge of the document has discovered, the BBC revealed.
The wrongdoing seems to have taken place "at least 2001 to 2008" according to the report and its summary, both posted on the website of Carl Levin, who chaired the subcommission.
For that stretch of time, 22 000 secret bank accounts have been opened with assets worth between USD 10-20 B.
Measures were taken to mask the accounts' US ownership. New customers were at the same time attracted by Swiss bankers who personally travelled to the US to recruit them. One of the ways to win a client was to hold sponsored events, including the annual Swiss Ball in New York and golf tournaments in Florida.
Credit Suisse is among the 14 Swiss banks which US prosecutors believe are aiding American tax evaders.
Its private banking and wealth management division intends to spend CHF 175 M (or more than EUR 145 M) on fighting US investigation into hidden offshore accounts according to estimates by the BBC.
The bank has declined to immediately comment on the issue, but later described the report as "ludicrous".
Its Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan, however, is to appear on Wednesday before a Senate commission as part of a hearing on Credit Suisse's banking secret, as the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung reports.