Credit Suisse Caught Allowing Iranian "Rogue Players" Secret Access to US Dollars

The US government already had to crack down on one Swiss bank, UBS, fining it $780 million earlier this year for illegally aiding American citizens in evading their taxes. Now, it’s Credit Suisse in the crosshairs for helping clients in Iran, Libya, Sudan, and other countries perform illegal transactions. The bank has since “accepted and acknowledged responsibility for its criminal conduct” and is now settling with New York City, New York State, and the federal government on fines totaling nearly $1 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“The men announced a $536 million settlement by Credit Suisse, one of several banks accused in a long-running case that has netted roughly $1 billion in fines. The bank, which paid the biggest of the fines, reached a 24-month deferred prosecution agreement, meaning it could face criminal prosecution if further problems occur.

“Mr. Holder said Credit Suisse built a business based on actively helping its clients avoid detection by U.S. authorities on their financial transactions. The bank produced a pamphlet titled, ‘How to transfer USD payments’ and told Iranian clients that bank employees would check each message individually to make sure it would avoid detection.

“The bank also circulated images of payment applications showing how to properly format them to avoid detection. ‘The settlement we announce today ensures that Credit Suisse will not flout the law again for its own financial gain,’ Mr. Holder said.”

Sure, Credit Suisse has since shut down its Tehran office, but $536 million really seems like a slap on the wrist for what some have referred to as a “treasonous” act. Ironically its shares were up about 5.4 percent on the news. The complete story is available in the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of secret deals by Credit Suisse.