Credit Suisse signage displayed at the company headquarters in Switzerland (Photographer: Michele Limina/Bloomberg)

Credit Suisse to Pay 109.5 Million Euros in Italy Tax Probe

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG agreed to pay 109.5 million euros ($119 million) to Italian authorities investigating the bank’s past use of insurance policies, allegedly to help clients evade taxes.

The Swiss bank will pay 8.5 million euros for administrative infringements and 101 million euros in taxes, late payment interest and penalties to end the probe, Credit Suisse said in a statement Friday.

The agreement removes another legal hurdle for Credit Suisse, which paid a fine of $2.6 billion in 2014 for helping Americans evade taxes. It remains under investigation in the U.S. over its mortgage-backed securities business before the financial crisis and also faces claims from former clients who say they lost money on unauthorized bets by their adviser.

Starting in 2005, Credit Suisse allegedly helped about 4,000 clients hide as much as 8 billion euros of funds that were earned illicitly, mainly as income that was undeclared to Italian tax authorities, people with knowledge of the case said earlier this year.

Clients were sold insurance policies issued by Lichtenstein and Bermuda subsidiaries of the bank, the people said. The scheme enabled them to skirt a Swiss withholding tax on deposits in foreign-held accounts while retaining access to their cash, which they could still manage from Swiss accounts, the people said.