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Swiss UBS bank among two other banks settle tax evasion with US

Swiss UBS bank among two other banks settle tax evasion with US

BERN: The US tax evasion investigation fundamentally changed Swiss banking, the symbolic centre of which is at Paradeplatz in Zurich, home to Credit Suisse and UBS.

Three further Swiss banks have come to an agreement with the United States authorities over clients who evaded US taxes by using Swiss bank accounts. The financial institutions include the Banque Cantonale du Jura (BCJ), the private bank Reichmuth & Co and the Banca Intermobiliare di Investimenti e Gestione (Suisse).

The foundation for the agreements was the programme that Swiss banks signed up to with the US Department of Justice in August 2013. It separated banks into different categories depending on the level of US tax evasion believed to exist within their accounts. Banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse were in category one, the three banks involved in this latest deal are all category two.

The biggest fine will be paid by Bank Reichmuth, with a bill of $2.6 million (CHF2.55 million). According to the US Department of Justice, which made the announcement on Thursday, the bank managed $281 million in over 103 accounts with connections to the US. The accounts were a mix of declared and undeclared.

The Banque Cantonale du Jura has been given a fine of $970,000. The bank oversaw 118 accounts of interest to the US authorities for 18 American clients involving a total sum of $10 million. The BCJ said the deal would not affect its current financial figures as reserves had been set aside in 2013.

The Lugano-based Banca Intermobiliare di Investimenti e Gestioni (Suisse) has no fine to pay.

Another 29 Swiss banks also in category two have come to a conclusion with the US authorities in the tax-evasion investigation. Category two is for banks who presumably had some US citizens evading taxes among their account holders.