Credit Suisse has taken out adverts in British Sunday newspapers stressing a zero-tolerance policy on tax evasion, as the Swiss bank tries to limit any damage to its reputation from raids on three of its offices. Ciara Lee reports.
A zero-tolerance policy on tax evasion. The double page message from Credit Suisse in British newspapers over the weekend. The Swiss bank is trying to limit any damage to its reputation from raids on three of its offices. It was pulled into an international tax evasion and money laundering investigation last week when coordinated searches were carried out on its London, Paris and Amsterdam offices. The ads, which appeared in the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and Observer, stated they were a "response to recent reports about tax probes in various European countries". (SOUNDBITE) (English) CITY INDEX, MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "This is quite a different bank. I would say that nearly all Swiss banks are quite different banks to the banks they were ten years ago, fifteen years ago. Very likely this is either going to turn out to be a dash for information, which the United States or other authorities felt they could not get, or maybe an over zealous prosecutor trying to sort of make some headlines here. But I don't think we're going to find anything material here against Credit Suisse from this." But the raids have reopened the thorny issue of tax evasion which has dogged Swiss banks for years. Wealthy individuals around the world have used the country's bank secrecy laws to hide cash from the tax man. Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-biggest bank, was fined $2.6 billion by U.S. authorities in 2014 over charges it helped wealthy Americans evade taxes. It has also settled tax dodging cases in Italy and Germany.