Credit Suisse to pay $234 million to settle French tax fraud case

PARIS — French prosecutors said today that Credit Suisse has agreed to pay 238 million euros ($234 million) to settle tax fraud allegations, the latest blow for the embattled Swiss bank.

The bank will pay 123 million euros in fines and 115 million in damages and interest to France, whose investigators will close an inquiry launched in 2016 on possible charges of aggravated tax fraud laundering and illegal soliciting, French prosecutor Jean-François Bohnert said in a statement.

French media have reported that Credit Suisse representatives courted wealthy French customers to persuade them to open accounts with the bank that weren’t declared to French tax authorities.

Credit Suisse says it doesn’t acknowledge criminal liability in the settlement.

“The bank is pleased to resolve this matter, which marks another important step in the proactive resolution of litigation and legacy issues,” the company said in a statement.

It comes just a week after Credit Suisse agreed to pay $495 million in a U.S. settlement over a yearslong dispute tied to mortgage-backed securities, an investment vehicle that played a central role in the 2008 financial crisis.

The settlements are just the latest of a string of woes for Credit Suisse, including bad bets on hedge funds and a spying scandal involving UBS.

A Swiss court fined the bank more than $2 million in June for failing to prevent money laundering linked to a Bulgarian criminal gang more than 15 years ago.

CEO Thomas Gottstein announced in July that he was resigning after 2 1/2 years in the job as the bank posted a net loss of 1.6 billion Swiss francs (about $1.7 billion) in the second quarter.