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A U.S. Senate subcommittee found that Credit Suisse helped American clients conceal as much as $12 billion from the IRS, but the bank’s CEO, Brady Dougan, said the blame lies with a few employees acting on their own.

It’s a bit hard to swallow, since Switzerland, with its secretive banking laws, has been a well-known tax shelter since the Nazis hid their loot there. More recently, Swiss bank UBS paid a $780 million fine in 2009 for helping American taxpayers hide their assets.

Credit Suisse reportedly went so far as to have a bank in the Zurich airport so customers didn’t even have to set foot in the city to stash their cash.

According to CNN, Dougan said the bank faces a different kind of scrutiny from lawmakers at home:

Dougan said the bank had implemented a raft of new policies, including requiring U.S. customers to prove tax compliance and tightening U.S. travel policy for its Swiss-based private bankers.

He also said Credit Suisse had cooperated with U.S. authorities as fully as possible under Swiss law and had supported transparency efforts such as the Foreign Account Compliance Act in the United States.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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