Credit Suisse: travel restriction to Germany

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse Group said Sunday it has placed very tight restrictions on travel by its employees to visit clients in Germany.

Bank officials said they have had no contact from German authorities about any investigation of possible tax evasion by German citizens with the bank.

But spokesman Hans-Peter Waefler noted Swiss newspaper reports that German authorities had started tax-evasion investigations against 1,100 people with banking contacts in Switzerland.

"Travel activities to Germany are very restricted as of right now," Waefler said, adding that he could not elaborate. Credit Suisse has imposed tight travel restrictions on staff visits to clients abroad for years, but officials said they had been tightened.

The weekly SonntagsZeitung said it amounted to a travel ban.

SonntagsZeitung said some Credit Suisse employees could expect to be contacted in addition to the German citizens.

The reports said the names had been drawn from a CD-ROM containing client data reportedly bought by German authorities.

Credit Suisse spokesman Andres Luther reportedly rejected the possibility of collaboration in tax evasion. "Our handbooks for employees in wealth management are very clear that no assistance is to be provided for tax evasion," Luther was quoted by the weekly SonntagsBlick as saying.