A data leak from Credit Suisse, has revealed the bank details of over 30,000 clients and points to possible failures of due diligence in checks on many customers, reports suggest.
Reports from The Guardian via the Press Associationpoints to the bank having accepted “corrupt autocrats, suspected war criminals and human traffickers, drug dealers and other criminals” as customers.
Switzerland’s second biggest bank, the nation is seen as attractive for those looking to hide money thanks to Swiss banking secrecy laws – which mean account information cannot be shared with third parties, not even police.
The Swiss Bankers Association estimated in 2018 that Swiss banks held US$6.5 trillion in assets or 25 percent of all global cross-border assets.
German daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said it received the data anonymously through a secure digital mailbox more than a year ago, but it remains unclear if this is a result of a lone whistle-blower or a group.
The data ranges from the 1940s up until the last 10 years.
PA report that Switzerland have sought to shed the image as a haven for tax evasion, money laundering and the embezzlement of government funds, but a direct quote from the leaker appears to suggest otherwise.
They said: “I believe that Swiss banking secrecy laws are immoral,” it said. “The pretext of protecting financial privacy is merely a fig leaf covering the shameful role of Swiss banks as collaborators of tax evaders.”
What did Credit Suisse say about the leak?
Credit Suisse said in a statement that it “strongly rejects the allegations and insinuations about the bank’s purported business practices”.
The bank say the allegations are “predominantly historical” and that “the accounts of these matters are based on partial, inaccurate, or selective information taken out of context”.
As for accounts that remain active, the bank said it is “comfortable that appropriate due diligence, reviews and other control related steps were taken in line with our current framework”.
Credit Suisse stock price after leak
Listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, Credit Suisse’s stock price dipped heavily in the leak’s aftermath in a blow to the bank’s wealth appeal.
Monday 21 February, saw the price per stock fall to 7.99 CHF (Swiss francs), but rallied later in the day to reach 8.06.
the -2.78 percent dip on the day before is small compared to the group’s overall trend.
Over the past year, Credit Suisse has seen an alarming -36.96 percent fall in stock price.