The Simon Wiesenthal Center, named after a Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter, said it had information suggesting the bank held potentially Nazi-linked accounts that had not been previously disclosed, including during a series of Holocaust-related investigations , Credit Suisse launched an internal investigation in the 1990s.
Later that decade, UBS agreed to pay around $1.25 billion ($1.9 billion) to Nazi victims and their families, who accused the bank of stealing, hiding or shipping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Jewish property to the Nazis.
Credit Suisse said it conducted a two-year investigation into the questions raised by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and found “no evidence” to support “many of the Argentine 12,000 list” opening accounts with the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt, the predecessor of Credit Suisse. allegations. During the Nazi era.
It said the investigation “fundamentally corroborated existing research on the history of Credit Suisse published in the context of the 1999 global settlement, which provided binding power off.”
The latest findings come as problems boil over for Credit Suisse, a mainstay of the Swiss banking industry whose origins date back to 1856 and ultimately led to Government-planned takeover of rival UBS.
Last month’s bailout follows years of falling share prices, a string of scandals and the flight of depositors fearing for Credit Suisse’s future amid global financial turmoil Thrilled by two U.S. bank failures.
Its troubles did not end with the rescue. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee said last month that a two-year investigation found Credit Suisse violated a plea deal with U.S. authorities by failing to report secret offshore accounts used by wealthy Americans to avoid taxes.
In the latest Senate findings, 70 Credit Suisse accounts possibly linked to the Argentine Nazis were opened after 1945, at least 14 were opened into the 2000s, some as recently as 2020, according to the investigators’ report.
Forensic research firm AlixPartners found 21 accounts, including 12 accounts opened after 1945, that had credible links to people on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of top Nazi officials. These included an SS commander convicted at the Nuremberg trials and a Nazi commander who was tried, sentenced and released, whose account was not closed until 2002.
Others included German businessmen, scientists and another Nazi commander who were either tried and acquitted or imprisoned and released.
A Senate committee overseeing budget requests related to the State Department’s Office of the Holocaust Special Envoy issued a report subpoena after new leadership at Credit Suisse suspended an internal investigation last year.
Neil Barofsky, a former federal prosecutor and special inspector general of the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program, which bailed out banks after the 2008 financial crisis, was fired months later to oversee investigations monitors.
“Credit Suisse’s decision to terminate surveillance, which could be reputationally damaging, is based on unavoidable speculation about what might or might have been discovered had the investigation and surveillance been allowed to continue,” Barofsky’s report said.
It said UBS “failed to review and investigate all relevant records” — including, for example, failing to complete a search into whether Nazi heirs attempted to access bank accounts.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center said the removal of Barowski had undermined its “confidence in a fair, independent and transparent review of history”.
“Today’s action by the U.S. Senate Budget Committee reveals a dark and disturbing past that has been eluded from the historical record,” the group said Tuesday.
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