The leak revealed that the bank had aided numerous international criminals.
Credit Suisse suffered a massive data leak that divulged over 18,000 bank accounts details. However, the security breach also brought to light decades of shady activity hidden because of Swiss bank secrecy laws.
Blockchain proponents have seized on this story to point out that traditional banking is often used to protect the criminal activity, whereas blockchain provides much higher levels of transparency.
According to recent reports, the leaked data has shown that Credit Suisse holds accounts valued at more than $100 billion, including those belonging to heads of state and “sanctioned” individuals accused of money laundering.
Some accounts were started in the 1940’s.
More recent accounts have been opened in the last decade. However, current operations were not disclosed. Switzerland has laws that prohibit the local banks from accepting deposits from known criminals, but the bank secrecy laws–which have made these banks famous throughout the world–make it easy for the banks to aid criminals and not get caught.
As a result, Swiss banks have become an inviting place for criminals to store their funds.
The report listed some of the account holders reportedly holding millions of dollars in Credit Suisse. Some examples include King Abdullah II of Jordan and Nervis Villalobos, the former vice-minister of energy in Venezuela. In 2018, Villalobos was accused of money laundering, to which he pleaded guilty. As for King Abdullah II, he was accused of misappropriating financial aid for personal benefit.
The reports also mention the sons of the Pakistani intelligence chief. They allegedly helped funnel billions of dollars from several countries, including the US, to Afghanistan in the 1980s.
The Crypto Industry Comments on the Incident
The Credit Suisse incident has led to mounting criticism of the firm, especially from notable crypto industry members.
One example is the lead developer at Yearn Finance, known as Banteg. He tweeted that Credit Suisse had no problem providing its services to “human traffickers, murderers, and corrupt officials.”
Credit Suisse is not the only bank caught aiding international criminals. Another example is HSBC, which was also mentioned by many who criticized the banks in light of the incident.
The New York Times report noted that Credit Suisse opened accounts for and continued to serve numerous “ultrawealthy” individuals and people with highly problematic backgrounds. The report also points out that the bank cannot feign ignorance in this situation since the crimes of its clients would be evident to anyone who tried to run their names through a regular search engine.
The crypto community noted the irony of being accused of aiding criminal activities by the banks, which are now known to have been doing it on a massive scale.
Meanwhile, the crypto industry is doing everything in its power to self-regulate, bring transparency, and eliminate corruption, while the banks are doing the exact opposite, advocating for secrecy laws that continue to aid criminals far more than regular people.
The leak reveals that the $100 billion deposited by criminals dwarfs the Chainalysis’ estimates of $25 billion held by criminal crypto whales in 2021, essentially proving that a single bank leak shows that one bank is holding four times more money for criminals than the entire crypto industry.