The Guardian in the UK is reporting a massive leak that has unveiled that one of the world’s largest private banks, Credit Suisse, has criminal clients whose combined wealth in the keep of the Swiss bank is some £80billion.
According to the story, details of accounts linked to 30,000 Credit Suisse clients all over the world are contained in the leak, which unmasks the beneficiaries of more than 100bn Swiss francs (£80bn).
The Guardian which is part of a consortium of media outlets given exclusive access to the data reports that the leak points to widespread failures of due diligence by Credit Suisse, despite repeated pledges over decades to weed out dubious clients and illicit funds.
“We can reveal how Credit Suisse repeatedly either opened or maintained bank accounts for a panoramic array of high-risk clients across the world,” one of the world’s most respected news outlets reported.
It added, “They include a human trafficker in the Philippines, a Hong Kong stock exchange boss jailed for bribery, a billionaire who ordered the murder of his Lebanese pop star girlfriend and executives who looted Venezuela’s state oil company, as well as corrupt politicians from Egypt to Ukraine.”
According to the report, one Vatican-owned account in the data was used to spend €350m (£290m) in an allegedly fraudulent investment in London property that is at the centre of an ongoing criminal trial of several defendants, including a cardinal.
The huge trove of banking data was leaked by an anonymous whistleblower to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The whistleblower is reported as saying, “I believe that Swiss banking secrecy laws are immoral,” the whistleblower source said in a statement. “The pretext of protecting financial privacy is merely a fig leaf covering the shameful role of Swiss banks as collaborators of tax evaders.”
When Credit Suisse was contacted to speak to the leak, it reportedly said that Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy laws prevented it from commenting on claims relating to individual clients.
While some accounts in the data were open as far back as the 1940s, more than two-thirds were opened since 2000. Many of those were still open well into the last decade, and a portion remains open today