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Credit Suisse to settle tax probe in France

Credit Suisse is one of Switzerland’s systemically important banks. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Credit Suisse Group and the French financial prosecution office have agreed to settle a tax fraud and money laundering case in France with a €238 million (CH234 million) payment to the state, a French court heard on Monday.

The settlement still needs to be approved by the court.

If approved, the payment would resolve the investigation led by the France’s financial prosecution office over whether the Swiss bank helped clients avoid paying taxes on their wealth.

The alleged scheme, which prosecutors say took place between 2005 and 2012, caused a fiscal damage of over €100 million euros to the French state, the prosecution office said.

Credit Suisse lawyers declined to answer questions on the settlement in court, with one of them only saying that the deal was the best way to “turn the page”.

Legal matters

One of Switzerland’s systemically important banks, Credit Suisse is scheduled to release details of a much-anticipated strategic review alongside third-quarter results on Thursday.

The bank has appeared more willing to settle legal matters under new legal chief Markus Diethelm, who joined in July and has taken a more pro-active approach than his predecessor.

This month it agreed to pay $495 million to settle allegations it mis-sold mortgage-backed securities in the United States, the latest pay-out related to past blunders that have battered the bank’s reputation.

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