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US senators scold prosecutors, Swiss bank in tax spat

Updated: 2014-02-27 10:50
( Agencies)


Credit Suisse last week settled charges levied by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, admitting to wrongdoing and paying $196 million in fines. But a settlement with the Justice Department is not imminent, a person familiar with the matter has told Reuters.

"This fine ... pales in comparison with the severity of the full extent of Credit Suisse's misconduct," said McCain.

Levin also grilled Credit Suisse over the way it accounted for new client money it had earned, a matter the bank admitted some of its staff had mishandled, even if the issue was not directly related to helping clients avoid taxes.

The report cited emails from staff asking whether money could be booked in a different region to make end-quarter numbers look better. The bank did not condemn the practice per se but said the emails looked out of line.

The US securities regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, has been investigating the bank over the issue since last fall, a source familiar with the matter said. The SEC and Credit Suisse declined to comment on that matter.

Credit Suisse's larger rival, UBS, admitted to helping US taxpayers hide money and paid a $780 million fine in 2009.

Evidence culled from the UBS probe, as well as thousands of Americans coming forward under a tax amnesty program, has fed a second wave of investigation, which has ensnared Credit Suisse and 13 other Swiss banks.

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