Swiss private bank Reyl says that it has received a request for a hearing by French judges involved in an investigation over former French budget minister Jerôme Cahuzac.
Cahuzac resigned his post in March and later admitted to holding €600,000 (CHF739,000) in a secret Swiss account and being caught in a “spiral of lies”.
In a statement on Friday, Reyl said that it had always fully cooperated with the Swiss authorities and would do the same for the French, in strict accordance with Swiss law. No further details were provided.
The Paris public prosecutor’s office opened a legal investigation into the bank on May 31, notably for laundering of tax fraud proceeds. The establishment is alleged to have held an undeclared account belonging to Cahuzac, which was transferred to Singapore in 2009.
Reyl received this latest request from the French authorities on Thursday, one day after controversial whistleblower Pierre Condamin-Gerbier, a former employee, was released on bail from a Swiss prison.
The former private banker, who claimed that he held a list of well-known French names with undeclared Swiss bank accounts, had testified at a French parliamentary commission investigation into the Cahuzac affair in June.
He was arrested in July on his return to Switzerland. Reyl had filed a criminal complaint against him alleging theft, falsification of documents, and violation of professional and commercial confidentiality.
His lawyer has since said that his client had made up the claims about the list in a misguided attempt to alleviate pressure on himself.
Condamin-Gerbier made no comment as he left prison on Wednesday evening, other than he was relieved to be departing.
A lawyer for Reyl said in comments published in the Swiss newspaper L'Agefi on Thursday that he was not surprised that Condamin-Gerbier was released but still expected him to be found guilty.
The Condamin-Gerbier case is the latest in criminal complaints against workers in Switzerland who have handed over confidential details of clients to other countries.
In August, a former Julius Baer IT worker was sentenced to three years in prison for selling data from the bank to the German tax authorities.
Last year Switzerland demanded the arrest of German tax officials for their role in buying Swiss bank data.
Switzerland also tried unsuccessfully to extradite former HSBC employee Hervé Falciani from Spain after he stole client information from the Geneva branch of the bank.
On the other side of the coin, several Swiss bankers, lawyers and other financial advisors have been indicted in the United States on charges of aiding and abetting US tax cheats.
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