Investments  

Morning papers: Credit Suisse helped US tax evaders

Credit Suisse aided more than 22,000 US tax evaders by making false claims in US visa applications, doing business in secret remote-controlled lifts and shredding documents, the Financial Times reports.

According to the paper, the “cloak and dagger” practices were exposed by a report by a US congressional committee.

In one case Credit Suisse handed account statements to a client hidden inside the pages of a Sports Illustrated magazine.

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As well, the bank helped customers avoid tax by creating offshore shell entities and structuring transactions to fall below the $10,000 (£6,000) amount that would alert the government.

The Telegraph reports that the findings were published ahead of a hearing in Washington today at which four bankers including Credit Suisse chief executive Brady Dougan will be questioned by senators over claims that Swiss bankers travelled to and from New York to recruit clients and set up shell companies.

Bankers circumvented the US visa rules by claiming they were visiting for tourism purposes rather than on business.

Moody’s warns on mortgage service specialists

Moody’s has warned that non-bank mortgage services could become the “next generation” of subprime lenders, the Financial Times reports.

The paper says the companies are looking to diversify their businesses in the face of increasing regulatory scrutiny.

According to the FT, mortgage service providers including Ocwen, Nationstar and Walter Investment have drawn the regulator’s skepticism by buying hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of “mortgage servicing rights” from big banks including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.

FCA: Warn homeowners of interest rate rise

The Financial Conduct Authority has told big banks they must warn homeowners that their monthly mortgage bill could be about to rise if and when the Bank of England raises interest rates, the Daily Mail reports.

The paper said the FCA’s warning came on the heels of remarks by a second Bank of England official that rates could rise in spring next year.

Meanwhile, a report by Barlcays predicts the average family could face rises in mortgage costs of around £250 per year by December 2015.

Merkel set to grant special EU opt-outs

German chancellor Angela Merkel is set to grant prime minister David Cameron concessions in a revised EU treaty to ensure that non-euro EU members including Britain remain in the union, the Guardian reports.

The paper says these “limited opt-outs” could include giving the NHS an opt-out from the working time directive, as part of a set of concessions which would ensure EU regulations are enforced in a more flexible way.

Suspected conflict gold floods markets

The global gold market has been flooded with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold which could be linked to African warlords and human rights abusers, the Guardian reports.

The paper claims to have seen confidential documents showing that in 2012 one of the world’s biggest gold refineries ignored international guidelines designed to block the purchase of so-called “conflict gold”, and paid more than £3bn in cash to people who “walked in off the street with no paperwork”.