Suisse Secrets: how lifting the veil of banking secrecy uncovered a threat to press freedom in one of the oldest democracies.

In February 2022, a team of more than 160 journalists from 48 media outlets in 39 countries published the Suisse Secrets: an international investigation into Credit Suisse, one of the world’s wealthiest and most important banks. Internal banking data, leaked to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, unmasked the beneficiaries of more than 100bn Swiss francs held in one of Switzerland’s best-known financial institutions. The leak points to widespread failures of due diligence by Credit Suisse, despite repeated pledges over decades to weed out dubious clients and illicit funds. Nevertheless, the investigation posed challenges – as the Swiss banking secrecy law does threaten press freedom.