ZURICH, April 27 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse sought to distance itself from offshore accounts to hide untaxed assets as it works towards a settlement with U.S. authorities over helping wealthy Americans do just that.
“It is simply a fact that a bank like Credit Suisse cannot and does not want to pursue a business model under which it attracts or accepts undeclared assets,” Credit Suisse chairman Urs Rohner is set to tell investors according to remarks prepared for the Swiss bank’s shareholder meeting later Friday.
His remarks dovetail with those made by Chief Executive Brady Dougan, who confirmed Credit Suisse handed over some information to U.S. officials on the direction of the Swiss government.
Rohner said Credit Suisse backs withholding tax agreements Switzerland recently reached with Germany, Britain and Austria, meant to sweep Swiss accounts clean of undeclared funds.
In his remarks, Rohner says the bank is not happy with its performance in 2011, but does not touch on criticism of Dougan, who took a more than 50 percent pay cut last year as the bank’s earnings slumped 62 percent and its stock tumbled 41 percent.
Dougan is expected to be roundly criticised by shareholders for failing to trim Credit Suisse’s investment bank decisively enough.
“There will be no return to ‘business as usual’ - irrespective of whether or not we would want this,” Rohner said.