Credit Suisse is touting "zero tolerance" on tax evasion in newspaper ads after office raids

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Credit Suisse has taken out large ads in Sunday newspapers (Source: Getty)

Credit Suisse has taken out double page advertisements in several Sunday newspapers following a coordinated raid on three of its offices, including in London, by authorities last week relating to tax evasion investigations.

The advert promotes that the company "applies a strict zero tolerance policy on tax evasion" and follows an international operation across four countries in Europe, and Australia.

The adverts were published on pages 12 and 13 of the Sunday Times, pages 10 and 11 of the Sunday Telegraph and pages 24 and 25 of The Observer

The full ad reads:

Credit Suisse applies a strict zero tolerance policy on tax evasion.

Response to recent reports about tax probes in various European countries.

To our clients and the public:

  • Credit Suisse applies a strict zero tolerance policy and wishes to conduct business with clients that have paid their taxes and fully declared their assets.
  • We strictly comply with all the applicable laws, rules and regulations in the markets in which we operate
  • As of 2011, we conducted a large review of our European business and requested clients to provide evidence of their tax compliance.
  • As a result of out review the bank terminated the relationship for clients who did not provide evidence that they paid taxes and declared their assets. This led to very significant asset outflows as we do not want to do business with clients who are unwilling to provide the required evidence.
  • We have made significant investments to implement the new international standard "Automatic Exchange of Information" in tax matters for our European locations effective April 1, 2017, which will foster even stronger transparency internationally.
  • Consistent with our zero tolerance policy, we continue to work closely with the local authorities in all matters and particularly in this new case.
  • Since 2013, we apply the "Withholding Tax Agreement" between Switzerland and the UK.

Two people were arrested in the Netherlands as part of the investigation, and millions of euros worth of cash, gold paintings and other assets were seized. Iqbal Khan, head of international wealth management at the Swiss bank told Bloomberg on Friday that to his knowledge, the probes target those outside of the bank. None of the assets seized came from Credit Suisse.

The bank's offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam were searched on Thursday, with HMRC involved in the UK aspect of the operation. It told Sky News that it "launched a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion and money laundering by a global financial institution and certain employees" with international partners.

"The first phase of the investigation, which will see further, targeted, activity over the coming weeks, is focused on senior employees from within the institution, along with a number of its customers."

Credit Suisse said it is cooperating with the authorities.