A reported announcement yesterday confirmed that Credit Suisse, the second-largest bank in Switzerland, will be closing its private banking facility in the Republic of Panama. A spokesman for the bank has acknowledged that these reports are accurate.
While fallout from the Panama Papers disclosures has caused many US banks to severely limit the amounts of money that can be wire transferred into, or out of, Panamanian banks, this statement about Credit Suisse's actions could also be based upon public indignation over specific disclosures about the bank, that have been revealed in the Panama Papers.
Credit Suisse Channel Islands Ltd. has been reported to be the third-largest user of offshore companies ordered through the law firm of Mossack and Fonseca, whose operations were exposed by the release of the Panama Papers. Will other banks, whose role in the formation of dodgy, opaque offshore corporations through the Mossack firm, also now pull out of Panama, to seek to minimize the reputation damage that they have sustained ? We cannot say, but we will be closely monitoring all bank announcements from Panama City.
Panama may now have become to hot to handle for Europe's private bankers, who cater to wealthy clients seeking anonymity through such vehicles as the BVI corporation, owned by a Panamanian Foundation, or bearer share company. Their clients demand secrecy, and now, with the furor over the Panama Papers, the Republic of Panama has become a little too public for their liking.