PARIS (AFP) – Credit Suisse bank, still reeling from losing billions of dollars last year, faced a fresh challenge: allegations from an international investigation that it had handled dirty money for decades.
A cross-border media investigation broke on Sunday claiming that Switzerland’s second-largest bank had held tens of billions of dollars of ill-gotten funds, claims based on an insider’s massive data leak.
Credit Suisse rejected the “allegations and insinuations” in a statement on Sunday, saying that many of the issues raised were historical, some dating back as far as the 1940s.
The investigation, coordinated by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), unites 47 different media outlets worldwide including France’s Le Monde and The Guardian in Britain.
This latest project, dubbed “SwissLeaks” by the OCCRP, arose out of a leak of data to Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspapers a little over a year ago. Le Monde newspaper said the investigation showed that Credit Suisse had flouted international banking rules by holding funds linked to crime and corruption over several decades.
The leak included information on more than 18,000 bank accounts dating back to the 1940s and up to the 2010s belonging to 37,000 individuals or companies, said the OCCRP.
It was the largest leak ever from a major Swiss bank, it added.
The bank, in its statement on Sunday, said, “Credit Suisse strongly rejects the allegations and insinuations about the bank’s purported business practices.
“The matters presented are predominantly historical, in some cases dating back as far as the 1940s, and the accounts of these matters are based on partial, inaccurate, or selective information taken out of context, resulting in tendentious interpretations of the bank’s business conduct.”