Credit Suisse Chief Tells Senate He ‘Regrets’ Tax Ploy
Chief Executive Brady Dougan of Swiss bank Credit Suisse testified before a Senate committee today that he “deeply regrets” that some of the company’s private bankers violated U.S. tax laws. But he added only “scattered evidence” exists of improper conduct. A U.S. Senate report alleged the bank had helped U.S. clients hide billions of dollars from U.S. tax authorities. Dougan said a small number of private bankers helped Americans hide income and assets to illegally avoid U.S. tax. The report found that in 2006, Credit Suisse held 22,000 accounts from U.S. customers worth 12 billion Swiss francs (US$13.5 billion). However, Dougan disputed some of the report’s findings, stating not every U.S. client account held in Switzerland was hidden from the U.S. government. He said the bank was facing lawsuits in Switzerland from clients trying to prevent it from giving information to the U.S. authorities. Currently, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating 14 Swiss banks for alleged tax evasion — five years after UBS management admitted to helping U.S. clients hide money.