New York CNN  — 

Credit Suisse has come under fire for neglecting to fully investigate accusations that the bank had serviced Nazi clients and Nazi-linked accounts until as recently as 2020, according to a new US Senate committee investigation.

According to a press release from the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday, which was also Holocaust Remembrance Day in the United States, Credit Suisse fired an independent Ombudsperson who oversaw a vast internal review and restricted the scope of its internal investigations. This left significant gaps in the forensic search for Nazi-linked records, the Senate Committee stated.

The bipartisan Senate investigation follows a March 2020 report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) that linked Credit Suisse accounts to a list of 12,000 Nazis in Argentina. Credit Suisse said at the time that an independent commission of experts had already thoroughly investigated the bank, but said it would look into the matter again.

In a statement on Tuesday, however, Credit Suisse said that they had conducted a two-year investigation into the claims made by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and found that “investigators found no evidence to support the SWC’s allegations” about Nazi-linked bank accounts.

The bank said that a team of up to 50 professionals from independent consulting firm AlixPartners spent more than 50,000 hours investigating the matter using the bank’s archives and databases.

The new Senate investigation centers around allegations made by Neil Barofsky, a lawyer from Jenner & Block hired in June 2021 to serve as an Ombudsperson and oversee the review of the bank’s potential links to Nazi accounts.

Barofsky claims that the bank did not fully investigate links to Nazi supporters or the possibility that the bank may have financed escape routes used by Nazis, known as ratlines, to flee to other countries after the war.

Barofsky drafted a report of his findings for the bank but said that the bank edged away from its commitments to publish it last June and ended his contract in November. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Sen. Chuck Grassley issued a subpoena for Barofsky’s report in March.

“When it comes to investigating Nazi matters, righteous justice demands that we must leave no stone unturned. Credit Suisse has thus far failed to meet that standard,” said Sen. Grassley in a statement.

“While Credit Suisse initially agreed to investigate evidence of previously unidentified Nazi-linked accounts as a result of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s relentless pursuit of justice, the information we’ve obtained shows the bank established an unnecessarily rigid and narrow scope, and refused to follow new leads uncovered during the course of the review,” Grassley said.

Credit Suisse said in their statement on Tuesday that, “the bank is aware of an account of the former ombudsperson’s limited engagement containing numerous factual errors, misleading and gratuitous statements and unsupported allegations that are based on an incomplete understanding of the facts.” The bank said it “strongly rejects these misrepresentations.”

Representatives of Neil Barofsky and AlixPartners did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

AlixPartners, according to the Senate committee, has indicated it will conduct a “supplementary review” of Credit Suisse’s connections to ratlines amongst other allegations.

Credit Suisse is Switzerland’s second-largest bank by assets and has spent the past few years plagued by scandals and large losses. Last month, it was forced into a sale to rival Swiss bank UBS in a bid to halt a banking crisis.

Credit Suisse and UBS paid $1.25 billion in 1998 to settle lawsuits filed by Holocaust survivors and their heirs claiming the banks illegally kept millions of dollars deposited by their relatives before and during World War II.