Credit Suisse to close private banking operations in Panama

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Credit Suisse has said that it is to close its private banking operations in Panama.

Coming just over one month after the Panama Papers controversy, Switzerland’s second largest bank admitted that it was closing its Panama office, but it denied that the closure was linked to the situation, brought about by the massive leak of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Credit Suisse confirmed to International Investment that it was closing its Panama offices, that has around 20 employees, but it said that it “remains committed” to Latin America, calling the region a “key growth region for our private banking and wealth management businesses supported by our investment bank”.

The spokesperson said: “By closing our Panama advisory office, we expect to deliver the same advisory services to clients out of Switzerland and allow Credit Suisse to strengthen presence on local locations with growth prospects.”

The Swiss banking giant added that other local presences in Latin America are not affected by the move.

The closure of the Credit Suisse office in Panama is the latest in a series of office closures that have occurred – either by coincidence or directly related to – April’s Mossack Fonseca revelations.

As reported, earlier this week by International Investment, Mossack Fonseca said it would close its offices in Gibraltar, Jersey and the Isle of Man, citing the international attention drawn by the Panama Papers as one of the reasons behind the decision.

In Panama, the firm has also recently liquidated named Mossack Fonseca Asset Management S.A., and applied for a cancellation of its license.

The law firm and its clients have been under investigation in a number of countries after The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and more than 100 media partners published the Panama Papers investigation.

According to the leaked documents, Credit Suisse Channel Islands Limited was listed as the third largest facilitator of offshore companies in the Panama Papers on the ICIJ website.

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