Swiss bank denies it has 'big name' French clients

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Swiss bank denies it has 'big name' French clients
Rey et Cie bank in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Boris Heger/AFP

Swiss bank Reyl et Cie, embroiled in a high profile tax evasion scandal in France, has denied having any current or former French politicians as clients, after an ex-employee from the bank earlier said he had given 15 "big bames" to tax fraud investigators.


The bank, which is heavily implicated in a scandal surrounding former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, stressed that it "has no French resident holding or having held political duties in France among its clients."

Cahuzac resigned in disgrace in March over an undeclared foreign bank account said to contain around €600,000.

He is facing charges of tax fraud, while his wife Patricia Cahuzac was also taken into custody this week and questioned by anti-fraud police before being freed Thursday, a source close to the investigation said.

Cahuzac's account is believed to have resided for a time with Reyl before the bank in 2009 helped Cahuzac transfer the funds to Singapore to avoid detection by French tax authorities.

A former official with the bank, Pierre Condamin-Gerbier, who has claimed to know of 15 French politicians and "big names" with undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland, said on Wednesday he had handed the information over to French investigators.

According to news reports, he also provided detailed accounts of how the bank helped rich French entrepreneur Alexandre Allard, who had been living abroad, to minimise his fortune of several hundreds of millions of dollars when he brought it back to France, in a bid to dodge taxes.

"The Reyl Group would like to formally deny all of the allegations against it of an accusatory nature published by French and Swiss media over the past 48 hours," the bank said in a statement, without providing further details.



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