The US Department of JusticeUS Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that BHF-Bank (Schweiz) AG (BHF) reached a agreement under the US Tax Program and signed a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA). The bank joined the US Tax Program as a Category 2 bank, i.e. an institution that had reason to believe that it committed tax-related offenses.
According to the DoJ, BHF opened and maintained undeclared US-related accounts. The bank offered a variety of traditional Swiss banking services that it knew could assist wealthy US individuals in concealing assets and income from the IRS.
While participating in the US Tax Program, ‘BHF encouraged existing and prior account-holders and beneficial owners of US-related accounts to provide evidence of tax compliance or of participation in any of the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or Initiatives or to disclose their accounts to the IRS’ writes the DoJ. BHF also sought waivers of Swiss bank secrecy from all account-holders and obtained it for more than 50%.
In the BHF’s NPA we learn that the bank held 125 US-related accounts for a total assets under management of approximately $202,964,006. BHF will pay a penalty of $1.768 million.