Here we go again and this is no April Fools Joke, Credit Suisse has confirmed that it has had five of its European offices raided, issuing a statement saying ‘on March 30, 2017, Credit Suisse offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam were contacted by local authorities concerning client tax matters. We are cooperating with the authorities.’
The prosecutors, Netherland’s Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), has not yet named the bank. The FIOD is investigating 55,000 bank accounts and has seized assets including gold, paintings, a luxury car and jewelry.
From 2013, Credit Suisse has applied the withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and the UK as well as implementing the Dutch and French voluntary tax disclosure programs. Credit Suisse has also implemented the automatic exchange of information for its European locations ready for implementation in April 2017.
Even with the above multilateral agreements, FIOD states that ‘The first phase of the investigation, which will see further, targeted, activity over the coming weeks, is focused on senior employees from within the institution, along with a number of its customers which could range up to 55,000.
As this an ongoing investigation, governments are unable to provide any further detail currently, but European and Australian governments are, if not already, completing their laws on the criminalization of banks, bankers, lawyers, financial planners and accountants to be criminally liable for failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.