Switzerland's Walliser Kantonalbank to join U.S. tax deal
ZURICH Dec 17 (Reuters) - Walliser Kantonalbank on Tuesday became the latest Swiss bank to say it would work with U.S. officials to avoid prosecution in a crackdown of Swiss lenders suspected of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes.
Around a dozen Swiss banks have now come forward to say that they are participating in the scheme, brokered by the Swiss and U.S. governments in August to make amends for aiding tax evasion by paying fines and disclosing information.
The number of banks participating is important for another group of Swiss banks already under investigation in the United States, including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer , whose cases have been frozen pending a solution for the wider Swiss banking sector.
WKB said in a statement that it had never focused on acquiring American clients but that it was unable to guarantee that all U.S. customers had fully complied with their U.S. tax obligations.
It said the decision to join the programme would put no strain on its finances nor call its dividend policy into question.
About 100 banks are expected to take part in the scheme by the end of the year. They will have to face penalties of up to 50 percent of untaxed assets they managed for U.S. clients.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) warned Swiss banks in a statement last week that they took the risk of being targeted and prosecuted if they didn't join the programme.
- Malaysia air probe finds scant evidence of attack: sources |
- Search widened as Malaysia air probe finds scant evidence of attack |
- Confrontation in Ukraine as diplomacy stalls |
- Exclusive: Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets
- Freescale loss in Malaysia tragedy leads to travel policy questions