Practice of the Swiss banks regarding taxes seems to get on the way of potential takeovers in the industry. The Financial Times (FT) reports that ‘Bidders for Coutts International have tried to use the recent scandal over tax evasion by clients of HSBC’s Swiss arm to lower the price of the private banking assets being sold by Royal Bank of Scotland’. Credit Suisse, Union Bancaire Privée, and Société Générale together with DBS are among the final bidders. The deal is expected to be valued at a premium to the $1.26bn book value.
The other takeover that is at stake because of the US tax dispute is the deal between BSI, the Swiss private bank of Generali and the Brazilian BTG Pactual. The deal is valued at $1.6bn. An informant of the FT said that ‘the deal would only close once BSI had agreed the settlement of an investigation into tax evasion by the US Department of Justice that is expected to include a fine for the Swiss bank’.