Credit Suisse closing accounts in '50 nations'
AFP · 24 Sep 2013, 20:10
Published: 24 Sep 2013 20:10 GMT+02:00
- Swiss court OKs Credit Suisse data transfer (06 Jul 13)
- Credit Suisse faces $1.2-billion US penalty: lawyer (24 Jun 13)
- Credit Suisse targeted in German tax evasion raids (18 Apr 13)
"We've decided to focus on certain segments and markets and exit some countries that are too small," a spokeswoman for the Swiss banking giant said on Tuesday.
Switzerland's Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported that the accounts involved would be closed by the end of the year, affecting clients in nearly 50 countries.
The Credit Suisse spokeswoman said the bank would exit some countries entirely, including Congo, Angola and Turkmenistan. In others, such as Denmark and Israel, it will close small accounts to focus on the top segment of the market, she said.
Tages-Anzeiger said the bank considered the risk to its reputation in countries such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus to be too high, and elsewhere wanted to focus on "rich and super-rich clients" with balances of at least one million francs ($1.1 million).
In Israel, where many clients have dual US citizenship, the bank also wanted to reduce the regulatory burden of complying with American tax law, the report said.
The bank had said in July it planned to exit smaller markets, as it announced second-quarter profits of 1.04 billion francs, a 32-percent increase from the year before.
At the time, Credit Suisse said it stood to save 150 million francs in the second half of the year by withdrawing from some markets.
Pressure has increased on banks in recent years to help identify accounts linked to organized crime, high-level corruption or other wrongdoing, causing the cost of complying with regulatory procedures to rise sharply.