Factbox: Swiss banks and the U.S. tax crackdown

ZURICH Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:02am EST

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ZURICH (Reuters) - A host of Swiss banks have signaled their readiness to work with U.S. officials in a crackdown on wealthy Americans evading taxes. Many more are expected to follow in the coming weeks, as Switzerland's cherished bank secrecy slowly gets wound back.

The program requires the banks to hand over some previously hidden information and face penalties equivalent to up to 50 percent of the assets they managed on behalf of wealthy Americans.

The number that join this scheme is key for larger banks facing criminal investigations, so-called category one banks, in the United States, such as Credit Suisse, Julius Baer and Pictet & Cie.

A failure to win broad cooperation in the program could hold up settlements for the bigger banks, which have seen their talks with U.S. justice officials frozen pending a solution for the wider industry.

Following is a list of banks which have said they will take part in the government-brokered program by grouping themselves into categories depending on whether they had U.S. clients.

CATEGORY 2

Swiss banks in this group have a reason to believe they may have committed tax offenses, and are eligible for a non-prosecution agreement if they come clean and face fines. Banks which have said they will do so include:

EFG International

Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild

St. Galler Kantonalbank

Banque cantonale de Geneve

Berner Kantonalbank

Banque Cantonale Vaudoise

Graubuendner Kantonalbank

Banque cantonale du Jura

Zuger Kantonalbank

Luzerner Kantonalbank

Valiant

Linth Bank

Coop Bank

Walliser Kantonalbank

Hypothekarbank Lenzburg

Unlisted banks in category 2

Union Bancaire Privee (UBP)

Rothschild Bank

Lombard Odier

CATEGORY 3, 4

These Swiss banks have not engaged in criminal conduct or are deemed "compliant" under U.S. tax rules. They would receive a non-target letter and not face fines. Banks which have said they will do so include:

Vontobel

Bank am Bellevue

Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank

Valartis said it will decide at a later time whether to register for Category 3 or not to participate in the program at all.

(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Hugh Lawson and David Goodman)

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