Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Official: Swiss finance minister meets with US attorney general, charges weighed in bank probe

WASHINGTON - Amid an ongoing investigation into international banking giant Credit Suisse Group, Attorney General Eric Holder met with Switzerland's finance minister in Washington on Friday.

A U.S. law enforcement official said the meeting with Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf came as the Justice Department weighs criminal charges against Zurich-based Credit Suisse. U.S. authorities are investigating whether the bank helped wealthy American clients evade taxes by keeping money in secret accounts. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Credit Suisse said in 2011 that it had been informed of the investigation and would co-operate with U.S. authorities within the limits set by Swiss banking secrecy laws.

An investigation by a Senate subcommittee in February found that the bank, Switzerland's second-largest, provided accounts in that country for more than 22,000 U.S. clients totalling $10 billion to $12 billion. The U.S. government has received only 238 names of U.S. citizens with secret accounts at Credit Suisse, or just 1 per cent of the estimated total, according to a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Credit Suisse recruited U.S. clients to open Swiss accounts from 2001 through 2008, helped them conceal the accounts from the Internal Revenue Service and enabled misconduct by bank employees, the subcommittee said. The panel has for five years been examining Swiss banks' use of secrecy laws to enable tax evasion by Americans.

The bank stopped providing private banking services outside the U.S. to Americans in 2008.

Credit Suisse spokesman Calvin Mitchell in New York declined to comment Friday.

The Justice Department said in February that it was investigating as many as 14 Swiss financial institutions, "and we won't hesitate to indict if and when circumstances merit." It didn't name the banks.

Charges from U.S. prosecutors could accuse the Swiss banks of failing to properly report deposits they hold belonging to U.S. citizens.

In a related case, the Justice Department threatened Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, with criminal prosecution. UBS entered a deferred prosecution agreement with the department in 2009. It agreed to pay $780 million in fines and turn over 4,400 names of customers suspected of evading U.S. taxes.

___

Associated Press writer Marcy Gordon contributed to this report.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates