Credit Suisse close to settling US sanctions probe

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2009 7:51 PM

Credit Suisse Group said Tuesday that it expects to pay $536 million to settle a five-year Justice Department investigation into business it did with countries subject to U.S. economic sanctions between 2002 and 2007.

The bank said it is in advanced settlement talks with the Justice Department, Federal Reserve, Manhattan district attorney's office and the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Credit Suisse expects to book a fourth-quarter charge of 445 million euros ($649.2 million) related to the deal.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office confirmed Tuesday it was negotiating with the bank, but spokeswoman Alicia Maxey Greene said there was no final agreement. The DA's office has scheduled a news conference on the subject Wednesday.

The bank said it had previously disclosed the investigation and undertook an internal review of some U.S. dollar payments that involved countries, people or entities who could be subject to U.S. economic sanctions. That review has been completed.

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Credit Suisse also said it exited the business in question in December 2005 and conducted an independent investigation into payment activity in Zurich. The company added that in 2006 it stopped doing business with all parties sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and as part of this move shuttered an office in Tehran.

Countries under economic sanction by the U.S. include North Korea, Cuba and Iran.