Credit Suisse Group A.G. has reached a $196 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve charges that it gave cross-border brokerage and investment advice to U.S. clients without first registering with the SEC, the agency announced Friday.
Under the settlement, which includes an admission of wrongdoing by Credit Suisse, the Swiss financial services firm will pay $82 million, representing its U.S. cross-border advisory services revenue, plus $64 million in interest and a $50 million fine.
As early as 2002, Credit Suisse began to give investment advice in the United States, pulling in as many as 8,500 U.S. customers, according to the SEC’s 14-page order. The firm began to exit the cross-border business in 2008 after a similar U.S. investigation into Swiss bank UBS A.G. But it didn’t completely leave the business until mid-2013.
“The broker-dealer and investment adviser registration provisions are core protections for investors,” Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a written statement. “As Credit Suisse admitted as part of the settlement, its employees for many years failed to comply with these requirements, and the firm took far too long to achieve compliance.”
Credit Suisse acknowledged the settlement on its website, saying in a news release that it was “pleased to have resolved this issue with the SEC.”
SEC senior attorneys David Karp and Matthew Estabrook handled the Credit Suisse investigation under the supervision of assistant director Laura Josephs and associate director Scott Friestad.