Credit Suisse has reached an agreement with German prosecutors to pay 150 million euros, or approximately $204 million, to resolve a tax dispute stemming from secret accounts at the Swiss bank belonging to German citizens.
The charge will be taken on Credit Suisse’s books in the third quarter of this year. The Dusseldorf Public Prosecutor is submitting an application for the agreement to the Dusseldorf District Court on Monday.
Last year, prosecutors raided Credit Suisse branches in 13 German cities after German officials bought a CD containing the names of wealthy Germans who were hiding their accounts from the tax authorities. Approximately 1,100 clients and bank staffers were suspected of being involved, according to Agence France-Presse.
“Credit Suisse welcomes this outcome,” the bank said in a statement. “A complex and prolonged legal dispute has been avoided, with an agreed solution that provides legal certainty. Credit Suisse pursues a strategy of only acquiring and managing assets in compliance with the applicable legislation and regulations. Credit Suisse has been preparing for the changes in cross-border wealth management for a long time and today has a strong presence in Germany, with operations in 12 locations and a team of around 750 employees.”
The Swiss bank has also been in the cross-hairs of the U.S. Justice Department lately over its dealings with U.S. clients and in July revealed that it had become a target (see Credit Suisse Targeted in Tax Inquiry). That same month, the former head of Credit Suisse’s North America Offshore Banking unit was charged, along with three other officials, with conspiring to help U.S. taxpayers hide their assets in secret accounts at the bank (see Credit Suisse Officials Charged in Tax Conspiracy).
Another Swiss bank, UBS, settled a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. in 2009 and agreed to pay $787 million as well as disclose the names of 4,450 of its U.S. clients. Other Swiss banks have also been under investigation in the U.S., including Julius Baer and Basler Kantonalbank. Julius Baer has also come under investigation in Germany and in April agreed to pay 50 million euros, or about $68 million, to settle.
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