The US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that two more banks, Société Générale Private Banking (Suisse) SA (SGPB-Suisse) and Berner Kantonalbank AG (BEKB), have reached an agreement under the US Tax Program.
A number of Swiss banks helped US taxpayers to hide foreign accounts and evade their US tax obligations. They were then offered the opportunity to enter a Program agreed by the governments on August 2013.
According to the terms of the non-prosecution agreements (NPA) 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 penalties in return for the department’s agreement not to prosecute these banks for tax-related criminal offenses.
In the SGPB-Suisse NPA we learn that since August, 2008, the bank held and managed approximately 375 US-related accounts with a peak of assets under management of approximately $660m. SGPB-Suisse will pay a penalty of $17.807m.
In the BEKB’s NPA we learn that the bank opened, serviced and profited from accounts for US clients who were not complying with their income tax obligations. Since August, 2008, BEKB held approximately 720 US-related accounts with total assets of approximately $176.5m. BEKB will pay a penalty of $4.619 million.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division added that the banks ‘are providing a detailed account of their cross-border banking activities. The banks are naming officers, employees and others who facilitated this conduct, and providing information that helps us track assets that account holders moved to other banks and other countries’. Moreover ‘using information gathered from the banks in this program, we have identified and are investigating individuals, both domestic and foreign, who helped U.S. taxpayers dodge their obligations’.