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Credit Suisse: Data leak reveals 18,000 accounts tied to corrupt politicians, spies and dictators


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ADNA Amerrica

The financial world was once again rocked by a Panama Papers-style scandal on Sunday after a major data leak revealed that Credit Suisse had managed accounts for crooked politicians, criminals, spies and dictators from around the globe.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, an unidentified individual leaked the information on accounts which were held between the 1940s and the 2010s.

"I believe that Swiss banking secrecy laws are immoral. The pretext of protecting financial privacy is merely a fig leaf covering the shameful role of Swiss banks as collaborators of tax evaders,” the individual responsible for the data drop said in a statement delivered to the German outlet.

 

The data is reported to have covered more than 18,000 accounts – collectively holding more than $100 billion in assets – and once again placed a magnifying glass on the Swiss banking sector, which was forced to renounce its centuries-old culture of banking secrecy under pressure from U.S. regulators less than three years ago.

But one Royal Bank of Canada analyst told Reuters that even if the allegations are unfounded, the leak will inevitably force a conversation about the Swiss bank’s business practices and maintained that the bank “should tie up management having to spend time fighting fires instead of moving forward.”

The fires he mentioned were burning by Monday afternoon and shares in Credit Suisse dropped by nearly 3% -- a stark figure for a bank whose value fell by almost a quarter just last year.

Bank officials have systematically denied any wrongdoing, however – adding that the issue is “predominantly historical,” and that leaked information has been taken out of context.:snip:

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