Credit Suisse under fire as clients hunted for tax evasion

This Oct. 21, 2015 file photo shows the logo of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, in Zurich, Switzerland. (AP)
Updated 02 April 2017
0

Credit Suisse under fire as clients hunted for tax evasion

AMSTERDAM/ZURICH: Swiss bank Credit Suisse has been dragged into yet more tax evasion and money laundering investigations, after a tip-off to Dutch prosecutors about tens of thousands of suspect accounts triggered raids in five countries.
Coordinated raids began on Thursday in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, France and Australia, the Dutch office for financial crimes prosecution (FIOD) said on Friday, with two arrests confirmed so far.
The Dutch are “investigating dozens of people who are suspected of tax fraud and money laundering,” the prosecutors said, adding that suspects had deposited money in a Swiss bank without disclosing that to authorities.
British tax authorities said they had opened a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion and money laundering by “a global financial institution” and would be focusing initially on “senior employees,” along with an unspecified number of customers.
Prosecutors in the German city of Cologne said they were also working with the Dutch. “We have launched an investigation against clients of a bank,” a spokesman said.
None of the authorities disclosed the name of the bank involved. However, Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, said local authorities had visited its offices in Amsterdam, London and Paris “concerning client tax matters” and it was cooperating.
It said later it had launched an internal probe. “The investigation will be executed by compliance, it will not be executed by the business,” Iqbal Khan, who is responsible for Credit Suisse’s private banking operations outside Switzerland and Asia Pacific, told Reuters.
“If any individuals are implicated or have violated against these processes or procedures or policies that are in place then we will identify that very quickly.”
The Dutch FIOD seized administrative records as well as the contents of bank accounts, real estate, jewelry, a luxury car, expensive paintings and a gold bar from houses in four Dutch towns and cities. The FIOD tweeted a photo of some of the seized assets.


Saudi Arabia has ‘no intention’ of 1973 oil embargo replay

Updated 27 min 54 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabia has ‘no intention’ of 1973 oil embargo replay

  • Falih said that if oil prices went up, it would slow down the global economy and trigger a recession
  • Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has no intention of unleashing a 1973-style oil embargo on Western consumers and will isolate oil from politics, the Saudi energy minister said on Monday amid a worsening crisis over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“There is no intention,” Khalid Al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency when asked if there could be a repetition of the 1973-style oil embargo.
Several US lawmakers have suggested imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia in recent days while the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, has pledged to retaliate to any sanctions with “bigger measures.”
“This incident will pass. But Saudi Arabia is a very responsible country, for decades we used our oil policy as responsible economic tool and isolated it from politics,” Falih said.
“My role as the energy minister is to implement my government’s constructive and responsible role and stabilizing the world’s energy markets accordingly, contributing to global economic development,” Falih said.
He said that if oil prices went up, it would slow down the global economy and trigger a recession. But he added that with Iranian sanctions coming into full force next month, there was no guarantee oil prices would not go higher.
“I cannot give you a guarantee, because I cannot predict what will happen to other suppliers,” Falih said, when asked if the world can avoid oil prices hitting $100 per barrel again.
“We have sanctions on Iran, and nobody has a clue what Iranians export will be. Secondly, there are potential declines in different countries like Libya, Nigeria, Mexico and Venezuela,” he said.
“If 3 million barrels per day disappears, we cannot cover this volume. So we have to use oil reserves,” he said.
Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million. He added that Riyadh had capacity to increase output to 12 million bpd and Gulf OPEC ally, the United Arab Emirates, could add another 0.2 million bpd.
“We have relatively limited spare capacities and we are using a significant part of them,” he said.
Global supply next year could be helped by Brazil, Kazakhstan and the United States, he added.
“But if you have other countries to decline in addition to the full application of Iran sanctions, then we will be pulling all spare capacities,” Falih said.