Credit Suisse snared in worldwide tax probe

UK raids in tax evasion probe linked to a Swiss bank
Dutch raids target 'tax evaders' in Europe and Australia

01 April, 2017

"We have implemented Dutch and French voluntary tax disclosure programs and exited non-compliant clients", the bank said in the statement.

Similar operations were carried out in Britain, France, Germany and Australia, all focused on clients who "deposited their money in the same Swiss bank", according to a statement from the National Prosecutor's Office for Serious Fraud, Environmental Crime and Asset Confiscation (FIOD). Credit Suisse was fined $2.6 billion in the 2014 for helping Americans evade taxes.

"The fact that these accounts are unnamed means that by their very nature they are likely to have been established to hide the identity of the owner", O'Dwyer said.

A statement from Dutch prosecutors made no mention of Credit Suisse, Switzerland's number two bank.

The Netherlands has focused efforts in the past few years on tracking down illicit savings in foreign bank accounts and operated an amnesty for savers.

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse issued a short statement confirming only that the bank's offices in the three European cities had been "contacted by local authorities concerning client tax matters" on Thursday. The name of the bank involved hasn't been disclosed. The tip triggered raids in five countries, which began on Thursday. The other confusing aspect of this whole affair, namely that Europeans still save money at a time of negative interest rates, we will leave to the philosophers to debate.

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Dutch prosecutors responded that Swiss authorities had been left out of the investigation because none of the suspects were Swiss - they were just linked to secret Swiss bank accounts.

Dutch investigators added that more actions will be carried out in the coming weeks.

It said questioning of witnesses was continuing, that more actions were expected in coming weeks, and that global co-operation "will be intensified". Bank officials declined to comment further.

"The worldwide reach of this investigation sends a clear message that there is no hiding place for those seeking to evade tax", Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs said.

Credit Suisse's Khan said the 55,000 was "not a number that I can reconcile because as of today, in International Wealth Management in Europe, the total number of accounts is lower than 55,000". Officials have refused to identify which bank is being investigated as part.

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