Credit Suisse to pay RM188m to resolve DoJ’s Asia probe

By BLOOMBERG

ZURICH • Credit Suisse Group AG agreed to pay a US$47 million (RM188 million) penalty to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to end a probe into whether it hired employees in Asia in exchange for government contracts and other favours.

Credit Suisse’s Hong Kong unit reached a non-prosecution agreement with the DoJ regarding its recruitment practices in Asia between 2007 and 2013, according to an emailed statement from the Zurich-based bank yesterday. The payment will have no material impact on second- quarter results since the bank has already provisioned for the payment, it said.

The settlement resolves another legal issue for Credit Suisse, which has paid roughly US$13 billion in fines since 2008. The bank said earlier this year that entities including the DoJ and US Securities and Exchange Commission were investigating whether the bank hired referrals from government and other state-owned entities in exchange for investment banking business and regulatory approvals, in potential violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The Swiss giant said it has made numerous enhancements to its compliance and control functions since 2013. It added that no criminal charges were brought in the case.

Its Asia-Pacific unit is now a standalone unit under the leadership of Helman Sitohang, one of the results of a three-year strategic overhaul by CEO Tidjane Thiam that has pivoted the bank toward wealth management.