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Credit Suisse Regulator Restricts Bank’s Lending After Scandal

This content was published on October 20, 2021 - 10:17

(Bloomberg) --

Swiss regulator Finma imposed temporary restrictions on Credit Suisse Group AG in making new loans to financially weak countries and those with a high risk of corruption in the aftermath of a scandal in Mozambique.

The Swiss bank will only be able to make such loans if it or the borrower informs the public transparently about the purpose, amount, terms of the loan and any guarantors of the credit, Finma said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The restrictions on new loans to “corruption-prone” states come as a result of the Zurich-based bank’s guilty plea and settlement with authorities in Switzerland, the U.S. and the U.K. over its role in a fundraising scandal that saw hundreds of millions looted from Mozambique, helping tip the African nation into economic crisis. 

Read more: Credit Suisse to Pay $475 Million to Settle Mozambique Case (1)

As part of the settlement, Finma is appointing an independent third party to review the bank’s existing credit transactions with financially weak and corruption-prone states or companies with guarantees from such states, according to the statement. The regulator will also oversee that the bank implements correct anti-money laundering rules and reporting obligations.

The restrictions on new loans will remain in effect until the bank has made all the remedial measures imposed by regulators. 

The settlement includes:

  • Guilty plea to a single charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by a Credit Suisse unit
  • Credit Suisse parent company enters into a three-year deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department
  • $247.5 million criminal fine paid to the U.S. Justice Department, which will be reduced to $175.5 million after crediting payments to other authorities
  • $100 million paid to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • GBP 147.2 million ($203 million) paid to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority
  • Forgiveness of $200 million in debt owed by Mozambique as a result of the loans

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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