Suisse Secrets:The Statement of the Source

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Suisse Secrets: A source anonymously leaked internal Credit Suisse data. Collage: Felix Hunger / imago

A source anonymously leaked internal Credit Suisse data. Collage: Felix Hunger / imago

"Why I did it" - The source who leaked internal Credit Suisse bank data to Süddeutsche Zeitung criticizes the Swiss legal system - and holds Swiss voters responsible.

The Suisse Secrets data were leaked anonymously to Süddeutsche Zeitung through a secure digital mailbox more than a year ago. The anonymous source - it's unclear whether it was an individual or a group - explained their motivation in an accompanying statement. The source did not attach any conditions to the content of the Suisse Secrets data, and Süddeutsche Zeitung neither paid for the data nor provided or promised any other consideration.

After reviewing the information, Süddeutsche Zeitung decided to share and collaboratively analyze the data with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and dozens of media houses around the world - including the UK's The Guardian, The New York Times and Le Monde in France. Süddeutsche Zeitung documents an excerpt the source's statement, which included the headline "why I did it":

"I believe that Swiss banking secrecy laws are immoral. The pretext of protecting financial privacy is merely a fig leaf covering the shameful role of Swiss banks as collaborators of tax evaders. Even though CRS is a step in the right direction toward preventing tax evasion, many developing countries are not covered by this agreement. Moreover, the CRS requirement of reciprocity imposes a disproportionate financial and infrastructural burden on developing nations, perpetuating their exclusion from the system in the foreseeable future. This situation enables corruption and starves developing countries of much-needed tax revenue. These countries are the ones that therefore suffer most from Switzerland's reverse-Robin-Hood stunt.

I want to emphasize the fact that the responsibility for this state of affairs does not lie with Swiss banks but rather with the Swiss legal system. Banks are simply being good capitalists by maximizing profits within the legal framework they operate in. Simply put, Swiss legislators are responsible for enabling financial crimes and —by virtue of their direct democracy— the Swiss people have the power to do something about it. While I am aware that banking secrecy laws are partly responsible for the Swiss economic success story, it is my strong opinion that such a wealthy country should be able to afford a conscience. (...)

I am aware that having an offshore Swiss bank account does not necessarily imply tax evasion or any other financial crime. I am sure that some of the accounts (...) have a legitimate reason for existing or that they have been declared to tax authorities in compliance with the relevant legislation. However, it is likely that a significant number of these accounts were opened with the sole purpose of hiding their holder's wealth from fiscal institutions and/or avoiding the payment of taxes on capital gains."

The Suisse Secrets-reporting of Süddeutsche Zeitung's reporting partners:

Zur SZ-Startseite
Orion Splash für digitale Ausgabe

SZ PlusDaten aus Schweizer Großbank
:Suisse Secrets - das ist das Leak

Bislang waren die Konten der Schweizer Banken ein streng gehütetes Geheimnis. Doch nun hat eine anonyme Quelle der SZ einen riesigen Datenschatz aus der Credit Suisse zugespielt. Erstmals lässt sich zeigen, wie Kleptokraten, Autokraten und Kriminelle ihr Geld dort bunkerten.

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