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Credit Suisse fined for inadequate client advice

The Credit Suisse Group has been fined £5.95 million (SFr8.37 million) by the British Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The fine was imposed because in the period from January 2007 to December 2009 the bank failed to explain sufficiently the dangers involved in buying so-called “structured capital at risk products”, or Scarps, the FSA said on Tuesday.

During the three year period studied by the FSA, Credit Suisse UK sold about £1.1 billion worth of Scarps to more than 600 clients in Britain. It says the customers lost nearly £200 million during the financial crisis. 

The FSA became aware of the possible failings in Credit Suisse’s sales methods during a routine visit in December 2009. The bank immediately cooperated with the review, and its potential fine was cut by 30 per cent as a result.

Credit Suisse UK says it has revised its advisory service to its clients and instituted a better monitoring system.

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