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Credit Suisse Execs 'Deeply Regret' Helping Americans Evade Taxes

Business  (tags: americans, banking, corruption, dishonesty, finance, government, money, Swiss Banking, tax evasion )

- 1837 days ago -
Credit Suisse's CEO defended the Swiss bank on Wednesday in front a Senate subcommittee on offshore tax evasion


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Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 9:51 am
Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images -- Photo description: Brady Dougan, CEO of Credit Suisse Group, testifies before a Senate subcommittee on Feb. 26, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Credit Suisse's chief executive hit back at allegations the Swiss bank was a willing accomplice in U.S. tax evasion on Wednesday, blaming a small group of its private bankers for helping Americans conceal their wealth.

Brady Dougan told U.S. senators that Credit Suisse only uncovered "scattered evidence" of improper conduct, and its top managers were not aware that a small group of Swiss-based private bankers helped U.S. customers hide income and assets.

"We deeply regret that despite the industry-leading compliance measures we have put in place before 2009, some Credit Suisse private bankers appear to have violated U.S. law," Dougan said in prepared remarks, released before his appearance later on Wednesday in front of a U.S. Senate subcommittee on offshore tax evasion.

"The evidence showed that some Swiss-based private bankers went to great lengths to disguise their bad conduct from Credit Suisse executive management."

Credit Suisse has been accused by U.S. senators of helping American customers dodge taxes with a variety of tactics, including creating offshore shell entities, falsifying visa applications and establishing a branch at Zurich airport, where wealthy U.S. clients could fly in, conduct their banking and leave.

One Credit Suisse banker even handed account statements to a client tucked inside a Sports Illustrated magazine during breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York, according to a scathing report released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Tuesday.

In his testimony, Dougan disputed some of the methods used and some of the findings of the Senate report, saying the subcommittee improperly assumed every U.S. client account held in Switzerland was hidden from the U.S. government.

The report said that in 2006, Credit Suisse held 22,000 accounts from U.S. customers worth 12 billion Swiss francs ($13.5 billion).

Switzerland's private banking model has been rattled to its core by the U.S. crackdown on tax evasion. Credit Suisse's arch-rival UBS admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide money from the tax man and paid a $780 million fine in 2009.

Evidence culled from the UBS probe as well as thousands of Americans coming forward under a tax amnesty in the United States has fed a second wave of investigation, which has ensnared Credit Suisse and 13 other large Swiss banks.

Dougan said the bank had implemented a raft of new policies, including requiring U.S. customers to prove tax compliance and tightening U.S. travel policy for its Swiss-based private bankers.

He also said Credit Suisse had cooperated with U.S. authorities as fully as possible under Swiss law and had supported transparency efforts such as the Foreign Account Compliance Act in the United States.

Dougan said Credit Suisse had come in for harsh criticism at home for its cooperation with U.S. authorities.

"We are fighting Swiss lawsuits trying to prevent our delivery of information to U.S. authorities," he said. "These are not the actions of an institution flouting U.S. law enforcement or hiding behind Swiss law."

On Tuesday, however, Sens. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) and John McCain (R., Ariz.) expressed frustration that U.S. efforts have been partly blocked by Switzerland's bank-secrecy laws. Of the 22,000 U.S. accounts once held at Credit Suisse, the bank has only handed over identities attached to 238 accounts, they said.

Al Jazeera and Reuters

. (0)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 1:51 pm
Noted & posted. Prosecute them all to the fullest extent of the law.

Terrie Williams (798)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 2:21 pm
Sigh..........oh, they're sorry.....SSDD. When are these CRIMINALS going to be brought to justice...oh wait, I forgot, they work for/are of the 1%.....nevermind....

Terry K (113)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 3:52 pm
They do not "Deeply regret that."

Barbara K (61)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 3:53 pm
Put the American tax dodgers in jail, just like you would do if my " neighbor" who makes $55,000, failed to pay his taxes. He would be in jail and all his assets grabbed. Don't be hypocritical about it, Uncle Sam, jail these lying thieves.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 4:10 pm
The only thing he is sorry about is that he got caught and now are in trouble. They knew perfectly well what they were doing, the only deep regret they have is that they have to now answer these questions.

Mitchell D (82)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 6:23 pm
As per the above comments: Yessir!!!

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 11, 2014, 8:10 pm

They do not regret a thing, but they sure do not like sitting in front of the Senate committee. Though they know, the Senators know and we know not a damn thing will be done.

Robert O (12)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 12:33 am
Throw the book at them! They're sorry alright, a sorry bunch of SOB's. Thanks Kit.

Sherri G (128)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 1:30 am
None of the off shore tax evaders like to sit in front of a Senate committee but Kit you are right on when you say nothing will be done. Bankers everywhere world wide believe their money is their money and our money is theirs too. Noted Thank You Kit.

Lucas Kolasa (9)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 4:00 am
They are sorry. Oh.. okay

Jamie Clemons (282)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 1:09 pm
They are really sorry..... that they got caught.

Roger G (148)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 1:54 pm
noted, thanks

Patsy Olive (0)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 2:09 pm
Noted & tweeted.

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 2:20 pm
Really? What a bunch of b****.

Sheryl G (359)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 2:56 pm
Words are cheap......their regrets are not going to give the lives back to the millions of families that suffer due to their tactics. Until people are truly held accountable this will continue on as they get away with it. They sit in the hot seat, sweat, but little after that becomes of it.

Debra Van Way (12)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 3:19 pm
Yeah, they are sorry all right-sorry they got caught. The 1%er's that committed tax evasion should lose EVERYTHING, be stripped of their citizenship and booted out of this country forever. They are crooks and should be treated as such except they can go be Switzerland's problem. We have already supported these crooks long enough.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 3:41 pm
Geeez - imagine if they weren't sorry!!

The only thing that they regret is that they didn't respect the 11th commandement: "Don't get caught".

But halleluya!!! All the little thieves get caught and locked up for years ...

JL A (281)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 3:45 pm
Seems the tax bills could easily pay for UI extension and restoration of SNAP

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 3:46 pm
To Debra Van Way - why should we take these guys? They're not Swiss and our jails are much too humane for these jerks. Keep them over there, put them in the Prison Industry and let them "pay" back ... or send them to Guantanamo!

Nelson Baker (0)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 4:29 pm
When a foreign bank helps rich American citizens evade taxes I believe their branches in this country should be closed.

Anette S (17)
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 6:28 pm
"Of the 22,000 U.S. accounts once held at Credit Suisse, the bank has only handed over identities attached to 238 accounts... " - bet these accounts belong to people who get well paid acting as scapegoats....

Nancy C (806)
Thursday March 13, 2014, 2:17 am
So many guilty parties, let's see if we get ANY results and repercussions.

Rhonda B (99)
Thursday March 13, 2014, 4:29 am
Noted. Thank you.

Craig Pittman (52)
Thursday March 13, 2014, 4:48 am
Yes they most certainly deeply regret, that they were caught and exposed. Thanks for the story Kit.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Thursday March 13, 2014, 2:48 pm
To Nelson - while one can debate your point ... don't you believe that first and foremost the rich Americans should be brought to justice? After all it's quite easy as one remembers from Al Capone's trial!

What kind of justice is this? It's like closing down the whole of the Military Industry because their weapons kill indiscriminately innocent civilians. Wouldn't you rather advocate to change the politicians and politics who are ultimately responsible for the killing? The Military Industry only produces the weapons.

Equally the banks only provide the facilities - the real culprits are still the rich Americans who don't see it fit to pay their dues to the country of which they profit most.
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