Credit Suisse is a leading global wealth manager with strong investment banking capabilities. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, our operation has a global reach and extends to about 50 countries worldwide across mature and emerging markets with more than 45,000 employees from over 150 different nations.
We partner across countries, divisions and regions to deliver holistic financial solutions to our clients, including innovative products and specially tailored advice, aligned to our high ethical standards. We strive for quality and excellence in our work and professional relationships, recognizing and rewarding extraordinary performance among our employees and providing opportunities for internal mobility, dedicated training and leadership.
Credit Suisse Group AG, together with its subsidiaries, provides various financial services worldwide. It operates through six segments: Swiss Universal Bank, International Wealth Management, Asia Pacific, Global Markets, Investment Banking & Capital Markets, and Strategic Resolution Unit. The company offers private banking and wealth management solutions, including advisory, investment, financial planning, succession planning, and trust services; and financing and lending, and multi-shore platform solutions. It also provides traditional and structured lending, payment, foreign exchange, capital goods leasing, merger and acquisition, syndication, structured finance, commodity trade finance .
A foreign bank operating in the US exposes worldwide operations to US regulatory oversight if they have US customers. In this case Credit Suisse had US customers, those customers had Swiss accounts they used for the purpose of avoiding paying tax in the US (US citizens are subject to worldwide taxation on income, a US citizen earning investment income outside the US is required to disclose that income and pay tax on it irrespective of if it has already been taxed elsewhere) and Credit Suisse failed to disclose their identities and balances to US regulators.
This case is particularly interesting as it was impossible for Credit Suisse to comply with both US law and Swiss law at the same time. Banks disclosing was illegal under Swiss law until late last year, not disclosing has been illegal under US law since 2010 (and in this specific case illegal for much longer then that). The US is currently the only country in the world which attempts this form of worldwide regulation, everyone else regulates only within their own borders.
These forms of conflicts are relatively common when foreign banks operate in the US (EG - The HSBC case was HSBC Japan operating within local Japanese law but violating US law in the process) and are why many are winding up US operations.