The US Department of Justice announced that another 2 Swiss banks reached an agreement in the tax dispute. Banque Pasche SA and Arvest Privatbank AG signed up in the US tax Program under Category 2 and reached a solution in the tax dispute with the USA. They will pay a penalty and continue to cooperate with the DoJ in exchange a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA).
In the Bank Pasche NPA we learn that since Aug. 1, 2008, it had 186 US-related accounts with an aggregate maximum balance of c.a. $655m. 110 of these accounts had US beneficial owners and an aggregate maximum balance of approximately $111 million. The DoJ reports that ‘Banque Pasche offered a variety of traditional Swiss banking services that it knew could and did assist US taxpayers in concealing assets and income from the IRS. For example, Banque Pasche offered hold mail service, as well as code name or numbered account services’as well as shame entities.The DoJ adds that ‘some of these accounts were managed by a particular Geneva-based attorney who held a power of attorney over them. When these accounts were subsequently closed, the assets were transferred to banks located in Israel and Hong Kong in an attempt to further escape detection from US authorities’. Banque Pasche will pay a penalty of $7.229m.
Arvest Privatbank AG was a private bank but on April 15, 2015, it ceased being a licensed Swiss bank. The DoJ confirmed that the bank ‘opened, maintained and serviced accounts for US persons that it knew or had reason to know were likely not declared to the IRS’ and ‘for several US customers, Arvest Privatbank AG gave the accountholders a travel debit card, which did not have a name imprinted on the card. These cards were tied to accounts that the accountholders held in their names at a third-party Swiss Bank specializing in this service’. In the bank’s NPA we learn that since August 1, 2008, the bank had 52 US-related accounts, with a maximum aggregate asset value of c.a. $134m. Arvest Privatbank AG will pay a penalty of $1.044m.