May 20, 2022
Credit Suisse bank

Credit Suisse has hit back after leaked data appeared to show that the bank had been handling dirty money, insisting that the data had been “taken out of context”.

The leak contained information on accounts held with Credit Suisse dating back as far as the 1940s, and was originally given to German publication Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The data, has been analyzed by more than 50 media publications, appears to show that the Swiss bank had provided account facilities to criminals, corrupt politicians and human rights abusers, among others.

The bank denies any wrongdoing, insisting that the accounts in question are mostly of a historical nature.

“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”, it said.

Taking a very defensive stance, Credit Suisse also hinted at a witch-hunt, not just against the bank but the Swiss financial sector as a whole.

“These media allegations appear to be a concerted effort to discredit not only the bank but the Swiss financial market-place as a whole, which has undergone significant changes over the last several years,” the bank added.

The leak comes at a time when Credit Suisse was already attempting to rebuild its reputation, following the resignation of chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio. Horta-Osorio, who left his position in January after just eight months in the job, stepped down after it was revealed he had breached quarantine rules designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Horta-Osorio incident was preceded a month earlier by large litigation costs for the bank over its involvement with collapsed US hedge fund Archegos Capital and insolvent supply chain finance company Greensill. In its recent earnings report Credit Suisse pledged to overhaul its corporate culture.

Critics suggest that any proposed changes will take years to implement, due to the size and complexity of the organization.

Credit Suisse shares fell almost 3% by mid-afternoon on the bank of the news, continuing a downward trend that has extended more than 12 months dating back to the Archegos Capital scandal, when the stock lost around 20% of its value in one day.