Former Credit Suisse Bankers Barred from Banking Industry

The Federal Reserve Board is barring five former private bankers and senior managers of Credit Suisse, AG, Zurich, Switzerland from employment in the banking industry.

In May 2014, the Board said that it would investigate individuals in connection with a civil money penalty and cease and desist order issued by the Board for Credit Suisse’s failure to comply with several federal banking laws.


The five individuals named in this week’s enforcement actions — Markus Walder, Marco Parenti Adami, Susanne Ruegg Meier, Michele Bergantino, and Roger Schaerer — were previously indicted for conspiracy to defraud the U.S government by assisting U.S. citizens’ evasion of federal income taxes through the creation and maintenance of bank accounts that were not declared to U.S. tax authorities.

Walder was the head of Credit Suisse’s North American Offshore Banking business and was responsible for the bank’s undeclared U.S. cross-border banking business.  As a director within Credit Suisse, Walder supervised teams of private bankers in Switzerland as well as Credit Suisse’s Representative Office in New York.

Adami, Meier, and Bergantino were private bankers who provided banking and investment advice to U.S. customers who maintained undeclared Swiss bank accounts.

Schaerer ran the New York Representative Office of Credit Suisse and was the bank’s senior representative in the United States.

According to the indictment, Walder, Adami, Meier, Bergantino, and Schaerer assisted clients in evading U.S. taxes through the use of undeclared Swiss accounts.

The Board found that the continued participation by Walder, Adami, Meier, Bergantino, and Schaerer in the affairs of a depository institution would impair public confidence in the institution.

The prohibition is effective indefinitely, unless the criminal charges against Walder, Adami, Meier, Bergantino, and Schaerer are dismissed.

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) praised the announcement from the Federal Reserve.

“At long last, bankers are finally being held responsible for their actions in helping their clients evade income taxes and avoid paying their fair share,” said FACT Executive Director Rebecca Wilkins.  “Hopefully this sends a message to bankers everywhere that there are consequences to their actions.”

“While we applaud the Fed for taking this step, we hope that these actions are just the beginning of more bans by the Fed and more indictments by the Justice Department. For too long, banks have gotten what amounts to a slap on the wrist for their actions. If bankers start going to prison, we may finally see some change.”

“These bans demonstrate the seriousness of the Credit Suisse bankers’ activities. We hope that the Department of Labor heard this message from the Fed as it considers whether Credit Suisse should continue to enjoy a privileged status under U.S. law to engage in high risk trading with people’s pension funds under the QPAM program,” said Heather Lowe of Global Financial Integrity.  “Their felony conviction bars them from this privilege unless the Department of Labor waives it, and Credit Suisse should have to earn back its credibility and the trust of the U.S. Government.”


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