Credit Suisse Solves French Tax Case for $235 Million


In order to resolve a tax fraud and money laundering lawsuit in France, Credit Suisse will pay 238 million euros ($235 million).

The deal, revealed by a court in the case on Monday (Oct. 24), does not include the Swiss bank admitting wrongdoing, but it does allow it to move on from what has been a continuing litigatory headache in a year that has seen a number of high-profile lawsuits launched against Credit Suisse.

In this case, French authorities have accused the bank of enticing rich French clients to open Swiss bank accounts between 2005 and 2012, when they were out of reach of French tax officials.

According to the Financial Times, the judge in the case stated that Credit Suisse employees held client meetings “very discreetly, in hotels, in restaurants, and never in official buildings,” and that a portion of the investigation focused on how it signed on French clients with assets under management totaling 2 billion euros.

A similar lawsuit against HSBC was previously resolved by French authorities. Another Swiss bank, UBS, is under investigation for assisting French customers in evading taxes.

The sanctions announced today include a 123 million euro ($121.4 million) penalty and 115 million euro ($113.5) in damages and interest payments owed to the state.

The bank already resolved a tax dispute in Italy, and an inquiry into charges of similar tactics in the Netherlands is presently underway.

According to a June report, Credit Suisse was added to a watchlist of businesses that required closer monitoring by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.