After the NZZ am Sonntag, Le Temps picks up the subject of  Category 2 banks in Switzerland leaving the US Program that was announced in August 2013.

At the end of 2013 106 banks signed up for the US Program under Category 2, i.e. banks that were not already under investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and had reason to believe that they had committed tax-related offenses.

VP Bank, Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA, and Banque Cantonale de Fribourg (BCF) are amongst the dozen banks who announced their withdrawal from the US Program after signing up in Category 2. BCF confirmed it left Category 2 banks in March 2014 but keeps nevertheless open the option to participate in Category 3 according to Le Temps. In the process they need to inform the DoJ. The Swiss Banking Association (ASB) has aslo been made aware of the situation.

The reasoning behind this move is that after review of the accounts held in their books those banks have ground to believe that they have not engaged in activities that could have breached US law. They probably had it confirmed by an Independent Examiner (e.g. U.S. or Swiss law firm or accountant). The price of proceeding with the US Program and the potential fine is too high compare to their exposure.