(CTN News) – Neil Barofsky has been reinstated as an independent ombudsperson by Credit Suisse to supervise the Swiss bank’s investigation into its past handling of accounts linked to the Nazis.
The US Senate Budget Committee, which has been examining Credit Suisse’s internal investigation, announced this decision on Monday. The bank confirmed the decision on Tuesday and made the unusual move of revising a press release from April to remove any criticism of Barofsky’s work.
In a statement on Monday, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island emphasized the importance of a thorough evaluation of Credit Suisse’s management of Nazi-linked accounts.
They stated that the bank has agreed, at their insistence, to delve deeper into its history, with Mr. Barofsky once again overseeing the review.
Barofsky, a former inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and a frequent critic of Wall Street was dismissed as ombudsman by Credit Suisse in November 2022.
Initially tasked with producing a public report on his findings, the Budget Committee had to issue a subpoena to obtain the document, according to their statement earlier this year. The report claimed that the bank had limited the scope of the investigation and had not pursued certain leads.
When the committee released the report in April, Credit Suisse responded with a statement stating that their own investigation did not support the key allegations regarding Nazi-linked accounts made by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2020.
Additionally, they criticized Barofsky’s report, stating that it contained numerous factual errors, misleading and unnecessary statements, and unsupported allegations that were based on an incomplete understanding of the facts.
The bank made changes to its press release on Tuesday, removing the criticism of Barofsky and stating that he has been re-engaged.
Additionally, it mentioned that he has been reinstated to complete the independent investigation, with the belief that this reinstatement will help resolve any issues between Credit Suisse and the Wiesenthal Center.
Following the Senate panel’s criticism in July, where Credit Suisse was accused of not fulfilling its promises to cooperate, the bank provided the legislators with an unredacted version of the Barofsky report. This report revealed that the bank had failed to review all available records, as stated by the senators.
UBS Group AG acquired Credit Suisse earlier this year,
As confirmed by a representative from UBS who declined to provide further comment.
The recent dispute regarding the internal investigation at Credit Suisse arose approximately twenty-five years after both major Swiss banks reached a settlement of $1.25 billion with Holocaust victims.
This agreement resolved allegations that the banks neglected to return assets to survivors of Adolf Hitler’s genocide and the heirs of victims. Additionally, it encompassed claims made by individuals whose assets were unlawfully seized by the Nazis and subsequently deposited in Swiss banks.