Credit Suisse may agree $800 million U.S. tax settlement by July: WSJ

ZURICH Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:38am EST

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at an office building in Zurich October 24, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at an office building in Zurich October 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - U.S. authorities and Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) could agree a settlement of more than $800 million by July for the Swiss bank's role in helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

Credit Suisse is now the largest bank in a long-running U.S. crackdown on undeclared funds held in hidden offshore accounts, including in Switzerland. Scores of Swiss banks have offered to cooperate with U.S. authorities in order to avoid prosecution.

A 2009 settlement for UBS UBSN.VX, after it admitted wrongdoing, paid $780 million and handed over more than 4,000 sets of client data, and an accompanying tax amnesty spawned an investigation into a dozen other Swiss banks.

Credit Suisse has said it is cooperating with prosecutors and keen to reach a deal and, although no indications have been given on the size of any settlement, the bank took a 295 million Swiss franc ($324 million) provision three years ago to pay expected fines and legal fees.

The bank said in October it delivered "substantial, high-level" data on clients leaving, and is preparing to provide more specific information.

Sources told Reuters that since then, talks with U.S. officials have gone quiet because the U.S. authorities' focus had shifted to the wider Swiss banking industry.

Spokespeople for Credit Suisse and the U.S. justice department declined to comment on the report.

(Reporting by Katharina Bart and Oliver Hirt Additional reporting by Patrick Temple West in Washington; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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