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US ambassador plays down Credit Suisse cases

Recent indictments against Credit Suisse employees by the United States do not point to “systematic defrauding by the bank”, says the US ambassador to Switzerland.

In an interview with the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Donald Beyer said he therefore didn’t foresee a comparable situation with that of another major bank, UBS.

“We hope and expect that the matter will remain limited to a few individuals,” he said, adding that as far as he could tell, the structure at Credit Suisse would prevent systematic defrauding by staff.

On February 24 the spectre of tax evasion returned to haunt Switzerland following the indictments of four current or former Credit Suisse staff in the US.

These indictments followed the arrest of another Credit Suisse employee and – in a separate case – another raid by the German authorities on the bank’s offices in that country.

In 2008 the US Department of Justice brought a successful case against UBS, which was fined $780 million (SFr715 million) after admitting helping US citizens dodge taxes. Switzerland also agreed to hand over data of more than 4,450 account holders.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR