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Swiss Said to See a Credit Suisse Charge as Destabilizing

Swiss officials would view an indictment of Credit Suisse Group AG by the U.S. as destabilizing for the bank and broader financial system, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The U.S. is seen as more likely to seek a negotiated settlement in which a unit or the bank’s holding company pleads guilty, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the discussions are confidential.

Intense negotiations are underway between Credit Suisse and U.S. prosecutors over the Justice Department’s crackdown on offshore tax evasion and an agreement is expected to come quickly, the sources said. The U.S. can issue a criminal information to charge the bank, which would stop short of an indictment levied by a federal grand jury.

Marc Dosch, a spokesman for Credit Suisse, declined to comment.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today in a video message that his department is readying criminal cases against banks that show financial institutions aren’t too big to prosecute.

The government is nearing decisions on whether to charge Credit Suisse Group AG and BNP Paribas SA, people familiar with those probes said. Holder didn’t specify any banks.

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