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Credit Suisse has ended an internal investigation into Nazi accounts

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A U.S. Senate committee has accused Swiss bank Credit Suisse of torpedoing an internal investigation into German Nazi wartime accounts, Reuters reported.

“We have received information that the bank has declined to pursue the issues uncovered by the investigation,” said Senator Chuck Grassley of the Senate Budget Committee. USA.

In a statement released on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the commission stressed that the work of the independent spokesperson who was supposed to oversee the internal investigation had “inexplicably ended” and that the data provided by the bank was “incomplete,” the AP reported.

Fear of losing your reputation

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The committee, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. federal budget and the budget of the Special Envoy for Holocaust Affairs, referred to an investigation launched in 2020 at Credit Suisse into allegations made against the bank by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The center said that German Nazi emigrants in Argentina they used accounts in a Swiss bank also after the war. So Credit Suisse launched an internal investigation, but as the commission wrote, it abandoned it last June. Therefore, the committee formally demanded that the ombudsman’s report, classified by the bank, be handed over to it. Neil Barofsky, who served as spokesman for the investigation, warned in the report that the bank’s decision to halt the investigation “risks reputation based on the inevitable speculation about what else might be found if the investigation continues,” the AP reported.

Barofsky also stated that Credit Suisse “failed to review and investigate all relevant records” – including whether heirs to German Nazis had attempted to access the accounts.

Some of the accounts were active during the investigation

The website of the Financial Times newspaper stressed that in the early months of the investigation, the bank showed a far-reaching willingness to cooperate. At this stage, 80 accounts have been discovered belonging to members of the German Nazi Party who hid in Argentina. But in June last year, the bank suddenly “turned sharply,” began obstructing the investigation, and closed the investigation, a spokesman said in a report quoted by the FT. By the time the investigation was closed, at least 99 accounts had been found, most of them previously unknown, linked to senior Nazi officials German or German Nazi refugees from post-war Europe. Seventy accounts of possible Nazi ties in Argentina were opened after 1945, and at least 14 of them remained active after 2000. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks German Nazi war criminals, said Barofsky’s removal undermined confidence in whether the research process was “honest, independent and transparent”.

Main photo source: EPA/ENNIO LEANZA

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