Credit Suisse reaches deal with German tax authorities

Credit Suisse has reached a resolution in a probe by German authorities alleging some of its employees helped German taxpayers evade tax bills, but will make a €150m payment.

The case is seen as the latest attempt by foreign authorities to take on Swiss financial companies, and/or foreign nationals alleged to have evaded tax by using Swiss accounts.

Earlier this year Germany struck a separate deal with Swiss authorities forcing upfront payments by Swiss banks, obliging the banks to calculate and remit unpaid tax owed to Berlin. In return, the identities of bank clients could be kept secret. Last month UK tax authorities struck a similar deal with Bern over UK taxpayers using offshore accounts located in Switzerland.

German prosecutors had received a disk with details of some Swiss bank customers, spurring its probe into Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse issued a statement saying it “reached an agreement regarding the proceedings against Credit Suisse employees. The entire proceedings are to be resolved (and) Credit Suisse will make a payment of €150m.”

The bank will book the payment in the third quarter of this year.

Credit Suisse said it welcomes the outcome. “A complex and prolonged legal dispute has been avoided, with an agreed solution that provides legal certainty,” a statement said. “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.”

 

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