According to media reports, the US SEC and DOJ are investigating Credit Suisse's hiring practices in the Asia Pacific region. Specifically, the SEC reportedly is investigating Credit Suisse on suspicion of using corrupt practices in China in order to acquire contracts from state-owned companies by hiring the relatives of government officials.
Credit Suisse Group ("Credit Suisse") may have violated anti bribery laws, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), in the company's dealing with Libya's government-run investment fund, the Libyan Investment Authority.
In the years leading up to Libya's 2011 revolution, a group of middlemen, reportedly known as "fixers", who operated in the Middle East, London and elsewhere, allegedly established connections between investment/financial firms like Credit Suisse and individuals with ties to Libyan officials under the Gadhafi regime. The fixers, at times, allegedly collected a "finder's fee" in arranging the alleged deals between the firms and the officials. These fees reportedly may have been funneled to the officials on behalf of the firms as bribes in return for business.
Asia Pacific / China Allegations:
14 February 2018: Credit Suisse disclosed in its Earnings Release 4Q17 that the DOJ and SEC requested information regarding its hiring practices in the Asia Pacific region. Specifically, the authorities are investigating whether Credit Suisse hired referrals from government agencies and other state-owned entities in exchange for investment banking business and / or regulatory approvals, in violation of the FCPA and other laws. Credit Suisse is cooperating in the investigations.
6 June 2018: Credit Suisse Group AG's Hong Kong unit announced on its website that it reached a non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ regarding the company's recruitment practices in Asia between 2007 - 2013, and that the company would pay a USD 47 million penalty to conclude the FCPA probe.
The DOJ confirmed the non-prosecution agreement on 5 July 2018, including its criminal penalty of USD 47,029,916, along with requirements of ongoing cooperation, compliance-program enhancement, and reporting to the DOJ on the program's implementation. The company received only partial cooperation and remediation credit because, having not voluntarily disclosed the matter and having failed to adequately discipline the responsible employees.
Credit Suisse also reached a settlement with the SEC, agreeing to pay USD 24,989,843 in disgorgement and USD 4,833,961 in prejudgment interest, bringing the combined settlement amount to USD 76,853,720.
Libyan Allegation Investigation:
According to the media reports, the DOJ and the SEC are investigating the Libyan allegations to determine whether Credit Suisse violated the FCPA.