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January 31, 2022

Swiss court demand compensation from Credit Suisse in money laundering case

Adding to its series of recent legal troubles, federal prosecutors in Switzerland are asking for $45m (CHF42m) compensation from Credit Suisse in a money laundering case concerning a Bulgarian drug ring.

Following a 14-year probe, the bank was accused of serious organisational lapses, which barred it from preventing money laundering, according to a SonntagsZeitung report.

Headed by a former wrestler, the Bulgarian drug ring reportedly deposited around CHF55m at the bank.

An ex-staff of the bank has also been charged in the matter. 

As per the report, the issue marks the second time Swiss federal prosecutors have taken a bank to court, following Falcon bank who was probed over involvement in 1MDB state fund scandal. 

Credit Suisse’s case is slated to start next week and be over by 20 days.

The bank can face a further CHF5m fine along with the compensation.

In response, the bank defied all the allegations, calling them ‘meritless’, and is convinced that its ex-staff is innocent.

“The bank will defend itself vigorously in court,” it said in an emailed statement. 

Recently, Credit Suisse warned that its Q4 2021 profit will be hit by litigation provisions of around CHF500m.

The bank was also hit by the exposure to collapsed US-based hedge fund Archegos and then by the Greensill scandal.

Last month, it dismissed employees and fined some of its staff after review into the collapse of its Greensill-linked supply chain finance funds.

Meanwhile, recently, António Horta-Osório resigned from his role as chairman of the bank after an internal probe found him breaching Covid-19 quarantine rules.

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