On Monday this week, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to tax evasion in the US and was fined a record 2.5 billion USD. However, the bank will keep its license, no client data will have to be handed over to the authorities and the top management will not be affected.
This is a sample of the extensive coverage in Swiss media:
– An article in the Tages Anzeiger follows what is a secondary angle for the international press, focusing on a newly created monitor position as part of the guilty plea. The monitor will oversee activities at Credit Suisse and review corporate governance, reporting to the New York regulator. The Anzeiger notes that the monitor will be allowed to cover the Credit Suisse headquarters in Zürich and also visit foreign branches as required.
Among several articles in the conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung:
– The US Justice department retaliates: “At an event at Texas University, deputy US Justice Minister James Cole presented Credit Suisse as a textbook example of a company which had not cooperated sufficiently.” The article is topped by a photograph of Cole pointing his finger.
– Credit Suisse’s mea culpa: “Credit Suisse booked an extraordinary expenditure of 1.6 billion USD in the second quarter, due to the horrendous fine following the settlement of the US tax dispute”. (The Tax Justice Network notes that the fine may actually end up being tax deductible.)
– The president of Credit Suisse Urs Rohner spoke at the Swiss International Finance Forum just hours after the deal with the US Justice Department became public and said that “receiving untaxed money is morally wrong”. He also said that “achieving a solution within the framework of Swiss law was very important to us”.
– Swiss Secretary of State for International Finance Matters Jacques de Watteville spoke at the same event and said he “was happy to see that Credit Suisse and the US had found a solution and that the path forward is now clear. It will be crucial for Switzerland to clear up the past – also with other countries”. At another event at the University of Zürich de Watteville welcomed Credit Suisse’s guilty plea, saying that the bank “no longer needs to have fears about its license and can focus on the future” (and also that “Switzerland’s image is clearly better in China than in Brussels”).
Finally, English language swissinfo.ch reports that the “Remaining ‘hit list’ banks sweat over US verdicts“:
– “The 13 Swiss banks still under tax evasion scrutiny from the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) have little hope of escaping with a light sentence following the large penalty imposed on Credit Suisse this week.”
(except for last link original articles in German, translations with some help from google)