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Credit Suisse distances itself from Clinton speech

Bill Clinton commands up to $100,000 per corporate speech

(Keystone Archive)

The investment arm of the Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, has distanced itself from a conference addressed by the former US president, Bill Clinton, even though it was one of the sponsors. The move follows continuing controversy over Clinton's pardon of the Swiss-based fugitive financier, Marc Rich.

A spokeswoman for Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), Victoria Harmon, said the bank had reduced its involvement in the conference, because of Clinton's participation.

She added, though, that CSFB would honour its financial commitment to the conference. The statement, on Wednesday, came after Clinton had addressed the meeting in New York.

She declined to say how much Clinton had been paid for the engagement, but he is known to charge in the region of $100,000 per speech.

During his address, Clinton refused to answer questions about the pardon for Marc Rich, granted in the final days of his presidency. The pardon was followed by revelations that Rich's ex-wife, Denise, was a personal friend of the Clintons and a contributor to Democratic Party funds.

The controversy has led to widespread calls in the US for Clinton's decision to be overturned, and has seriously tarnished his reputation.

Earlier this month, the Swiss bank UBS reportedly withdrew an invitation to Clinton to address a conference it was sponsoring.

The move came after another bank, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, apologised to its customers for paying Clinton $100,000 to address one of its conferences.

swissinfo with agencies


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