The European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political grouping in the European Parliament, has called for a review of banking practices in Switzerland, saying that the country be included in the EU’s dirty-money blacklist after leaked Credit Suisse documents revealed the bank’s dealings with shady clientele.
The Switzerland banking giant has reportedly served a motley client roster for decades, which included heads of state and spy chiefs, as well as human rights abusers and sanctioned individuals.
“The ‘Swiss Secrets’ findings point to massive shortcomings of Swiss banks when it comes to the prevention of money laundering,” the EPP’s coordinator on economic affairs Markus Ferber said, adding: “When Swiss banks fail to apply international anti-money-laundering standards properly, Switzerland itself becomes a high-risk jurisdiction.”
The EPP released the proposal following media reports on Monday on the results of investigations into the leak of data on thousands of accounts held at the bank during recent decades.
The investigation, called Suisse Secrets, identified clients of the Swiss bank who had been involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption, and other serious crimes.
Credit Suisse has strongly rejected any allegations of wrongdoing, saying that the media reports were based on “selective information taken out of context, resulting in tendentious interpretations of the bank’s business conduct.”
If Switzerland is added to the blacklist, it would face the kind of enhanced due diligence applied to transactions linked to nations including Iran, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea. The EU money-laundering blacklist currently comprises 21 countries, none of which are European.