The US Department of Justice announced today that Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA (UBP), reached a solution under the US Tax Program for Swiss banks. UBP signed a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) will pay a penalty of more than $187m.
As a reminder, UBP is a corporation organized under the laws of Switzerland with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The original name was Compagnie de Banque et d’Investissements CBI. In 1990, CBI merged with TBD-American Express Bank and merged entity was re-named UBP. On top of that UBP made a number of acquisitions, including NordFinanz Bank (1995), Discount Bank and Trust (2002), ABN AMRO (Switzerland) AG (2011), a portion of the assets associated with Banco Santander (Switzerland) SA’s private banking business (2012), Nexar Capital Group (Luxembourg) (2012), the assets associated with Lloyds Banking Group’s international private banking business (2013) and the assets associated with Coutts’s Swiss private banking activities (2015).
Up to and including 2013, UBP bankers aided and assisted US clients in opening and maintaining undeclared accounts. Over 200 private bankers were responsible for managing at least one US-related client account during the period following August, 2008.
UBP assisted US clients with undeclared accounts by opening accounts in the names of non-US structures through a Geneva-based affiliate amongst other providers. During the period since August, 2008, UBP held 502 such structures.
UBP also maintained undeclared accounts in the nominee names of non-US insurance companies for US clients.
In the UBP’s NPA we learn that since August, 2008, the bank held and managed approximately 2,919 both declared and undeclared US-related accounts with aggregate maximum value of assets under management of $4.895bn. 1,282 of the 2,919 U.S.-related accounts were acquired through the acquisitions of other banks. UBP will pay a penalty of $187.767 million.