Monday, September 1, 2014

Switzerland/US: At Least Ten Swiss Banks Opt Out of Working with US Justice Department

According to Reuters, at least ten Swiss banks have withdrawn from a US program aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday (August 31).
Around 100 Swiss banks came forward at the end of last year to work with US authorities in a program brokered by the Swiss government to help the banks make amends for aiding and abetting tax evasion.
"At least ten banks had decided at the end of 2013 to pay a fine," the newspaper said,  quoting unnamed lawyers and auditors. 
COMMENT: The newspaper said the banks were convinced they had not systematically broken US law and lawyers at the US Department of Justice had actually been surprised to see them take part in the program and did not object to the banks leaving the program.
Liechtenstein-based VP Bank came forward last week to say it had concluded that it no longer needed to take part in the program.
About a dozen Swiss banks face US criminal investigation as part of the tax probe. Credit Suisse has already settled by agreeing to plead guilty and pay a fine of US$2.6 billion earlier this year.