Credit Suisse Group on Monday admitted to helping Americans evade taxes and agreed to pay a US$2.6 billion fine, becoming the first global bank in 20 years to plead guilty to a US criminal charge.
But the Swiss bank escaped the worst as its top management stayed in place, and the New York state bank regulator said it had decided not to revoke the bank’s license in the state, Reuters noted.
Prosecutors said the bank helped clients deceive US tax authorities by concealing assets in illegal, undeclared bank accounts, in a conspiracy that spanned decades.
Credit Suisse will pay financial penalties to the US Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Reserve and New York’s banking regulator, the New York State Department of Financial Services, to settle the matter. It had already paid just under US$200 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law,” US Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference in Washington, according to Reuters.
Credit Suisse’s CEO Brady Dougan was quoted as saying in a statement that the bank deeply regrets “the past misconduct that led to this settlement”.
The bank, Switzerland’s second biggest, is said to take an after-tax charge of 1.6 billion Swiss francs (US$1.79 billion) in the second quarter.
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