WASHINGTON. Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, will pay the US administration a $536 million fine for violating international business sanctions imposed on Iran.
The US discovered the bank had aided Iran and other countries move millions of dollars through the American banking system between 2002 and 2007 – money which was ultimately used to fund Iran's nuclear and space programs.
The two programs have been blacklisted by the US as result of Iran's efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and American institutions are forbidden from engaging in any business dealings with them.
According to a report in the New York Times, Credit Suisse performed over 7,000 illegal wire transfers amounting to $700 million.
Moreover, bank employees attempted to remove records of the transactions and consulted Iranian banks on the best ways to cover their tracks.
Iranian banks the likes of Melli and Saderat are believed to have been able to move over $1 billion through various New York banks. Iranian companies often use dummy corporations to disguise their identity in the US business community.
Credit Suisse announced Wednesday that is had struck a deal with US authorities under which in would pay the multi-million dollar fine and will thus escape a criminal indictment.
The agreement will also prevent Credit Suisse from being blacklisted by the US banking system.
The fine is to be distributed equally between the City of New York and New York State.