Credit Suisse is taking further measures to protect itself, by ordering thousands of its American offshore banking clients to leave or face declaring their account details to the IRS.
The Swiss newspaper Sonntadszeitung has reported that US customers have the option to move their funds to a Credit Suisse subsidiary, CS Private Advisers, which would reveal their accounts to US authorities, or receive a cheque for the balance of their funds.
UBS, Credit Suisse’s larger rival, paid US authorities $780m to settle a case brought against it by the US justice Department, in which it was accused of helping wealthy US clients evade taxes. UBS also agreed to name 250 of its clients. Credit Suisse may be offering this choice to its US customers to avoid a high-profile UBS-type investigation. Credit Suisse has between 2,500 and 5,000 US clients with 3bn Swiss Francs in undeclared funds, according to Swiss media sources.
In a statement, Credit Suisse downplayed any notion of a legal crisis: “Credit Suisse
adheres to the highest compliance standards, applicable laws,
regulations, and policies..We offer both domestic
and international wealth management services to US clients in
compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies.”