Credit Suisse Can Continue Managing Retirement Plan Assets

The bank, which pled guilty to criminal charges last year, applied for an exemption that would enable it to keep its status as a qualified professional asset manager.

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has granted a prohibited transaction exemption to Switzerland-based Credit Suisse, allowing it to keep its status as a qualified professional asset manager (QPAM).

The QPAM exemption allows asset managers to engage in transactions with parties in interest with respect to retirement plans without running afoul of the prohibited transaction restrictions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) or the Internal Revenue Code. According to an EBSA Notice, the exemption covers some entities affiliated with the bank until November 2019, and covers others related to the bank until November 2024.

The temporary exemption addresses an anti-criminal rule that states a QPAM or any of its affiliates must be able to cite a clear criminal record on a variety of crimes within 10 years immediately prior to a given transaction. On May 19, 2014, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to criminal charges that it facilitated tax evasion by helping U.S. clients avoid paying taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

Last year, the EBSA granted a temporary exemption to Credit Suisse, which will expire next month.