Navigation

Prosecutor calls for maximum fine for Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse has rejected all allegations in this case as meritless © Keystone / Christian Beutler

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has demanded Credit Suisse be fined CHF5 million ($5.4 million) – the maximum provided for by law – for aggravated money laundering and subsidiary support of a criminal organisation.

This content was published on February 24, 2022 - 11:49
Keystone-SDA/ts

Switzerland’s second-largest bank is a defendant in a trialExternal link, which began on February 7, involving millions of euros that were allegedly laundered through its coffers by Bulgarian drug trafficker Evelin Banev.

On Wednesday prosecutor Alice de Chambrier denounced the bank’s organisational shortcomings in the fight against money laundering. All the protective walls – the client advisor, her superiors and the risk department – had failed, she said.

Since there were no mitigating circumstances, de Chambrier called for the maximum fine of CHF5 million. If found guilty, the bank may also have to settle two compensation claims: CHF34 million for the money that escaped justice and CHF7 million of illicitly earned profits.

Last week a former Credit Suisse banker told the court that the bank had dismissed her concerns about murders allegedly linked to Banev.

‘Meritless’

Prosecutors state that the drug ring washed CHF146 million through Credit Suisse, including large sums of cash in suitcases, between 2004 and 2008.

Two alleged members of the cocaine-smuggling ring and two former bankers, from Credit Suisse and Julius Bär, will appear in the dock.

Last December Falcon private bank, the Swiss entity of an Abu Dhabi-controlled financial group, was found guilty of money-laundering offences and finedExternal link by a Swiss court. But Credit Suisse is the first major Swiss-controlled bank to appear in a money-laundering trial in the country, according to Swiss public broadcaster, SRF. 

“Credit Suisse unreservedly rejects as meritless all allegations in this legacy matter raised against it and is convinced that its former employee is innocent,” the bank said in a statement to Reuters at the beginning of the trial.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?