The turnaround at Credit Suisse in 2017 is facing scrutiny after a probe was recently opened into possible tax evasion and money-laundering across the bank’s global operations. The latest development threatens to derail the recent optimism at the lender, which recently saw its bonus pool expanded.
Credit Suisse’s 2017 fortunes have on the surface been a departure from its previous year. The group incurred a sizable $2.4 billion loss in 2016, with a number of headwinds pointing to more of the same in 2017. Still, the group’s CEO Tidjane Thiam touted a more optimistic stance, with a wide-ranging recovery plan seeming to pay dividends.
While Credit Suisse’s 2016 year-end earnings definitely cast a shadow on the lender, a fact that was further exacerbated by an additional round of cuts, these losses were restricted to jobs in its Asian equities desks, as well as another 5,500 positions forthcoming.
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A new investigation into its global operations could dramatically change its outlook and fortunes at a time when its recovery plan can ill afford any setbacks. According to a Bloomberg report, investigators are now in the midst of a probe that is spanning five countries, extending to thousands of accounts.
The investigation was reportedly triggered by a tip to the FIOD, the criminal investigation service of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. However, an investigation had been originally launched back in 2016 across five countries, and could see results or actions in the next few weeks.
It is unclear what, if anything, Credit Suisse has done wrong, though the group has been fined in the past for tax obligations. A large settlement would definitely weigh upon its outlook heading into H2 2017.