The US Department of Justice (DoJ) announces settlement for a further 4 Swiss banks that signed up under Category 2 of the US Tax program, namely

Société Générale Private Banking (Lugano-Svizzera) SA (SGPB-Lugano)

MediBank AG (MediBank)

LBBW (Schweiz) AG (LBBW-Schweiz)

Scobag Privatbank AG (Scobag)

The agreement requires the banks to:

  • Make a complete disclosure of their cross-border activities;
  • Provide detailed information on an account-by-account basis for accounts in which U.S. taxpayers have a direct or indirect interest;
  • Cooperate in treaty requests for account information;
  • Provide detailed information as to other banks that transferred funds into secret accounts or that accepted funds when secret accounts were closed;
  • Agree to close accounts of account holders who fail to come into compliance with U.S. reporting obligations; and
  • Pay appropriate penalties.

‘According to the terms of the non-prosecution agreements signed today, each bank agrees to cooperate in any related criminal or civil proceedings, demonstrate its implementation of controls to stop misconduct involving undeclared US accounts and pay the penalties in return for the department’s agreement not to prosecute these banks for tax-related criminal offenses’ says the DoJ.

The Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) for SGPB-Lugano shows that the bank held and managed approximately 109 US-related accounts, with a peak of assets under management of c.a. $139.6m, and offered a variety of services. They will pay a penalty of USD 1.363m.

The MediBank NPA shows the bank had 14 US-related accounts with assets under management of c.a. $8,6.  MediBank opened, serviced and profited from US-related accounts.  MediBank will pay a penalty of $826k.

The LBBW-Schweiz NPA shows that the bank held 35 US-related accounts with a peak assets of under management of c.a. $128m. LBBW-Schweiz will pay a penalty of $34k.

The Scobag NPA shows that the bank had 13 US-related accounts with assets under management of c.a. $6,9m.  Scobag offered a variety of services that it knew could assist clients in the concealment of assets and income from the IRS.  Scobag will pay a penalty of $9,090.

The Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division added that ‘The message is clear – there is no safe haven’.