Credit Suisse Staff Probed in Germany in New Tax CaseKarin Matussek
The homes of Credit Suisse Group AG customers were raided by prosecutors as part of a tax-evasion probe based on account data obtained by a German state government.
The customers and employees of Credit Suisse units are both being investigated as part of the probe, prosecutors in Koblenz, Germany, said in an e-mailed statement. The case is reviewing whether bank staff helped 201 clients evade German taxes.
German lawmakers last year rejected an accord with Switzerland aimed at resolving disputes over how to tax funds held by Germans at banks in the Alpine country. The treaty would have ended German authorities’ need to acquire bank data from people who may have stolen it from the lenders.
Credit Suisse has been telling its German clients that they need to “review their individual situation and, if necessary, settle it” with the German government, bank spokesman Marc Dosch said in an e-mailed statement. The lender will end its relationship this year with clients who don’t comply, he said.
Clients of other Swiss banks are also being targeted by German tax authorities. In November, the homes of about 100 clients of UBS AG were searched after Bochum prosecutors purchased their data.
In today’s case, prosecutors still have to identify the individual Credit Suisse employees who may become suspects. The south-western State of Rhineland-Palatinate, where Koblenz is located, bought the data at the beginning of the year, prosecutors said.
Credit Suisse in 2011 paid 150 million euros ($197 million) to settle a similar probe conducted by Dusseldorf prosecutors. At the time, 1,100 Credit Suisse clients were targeted.