FRANKFURT, April 28 Deutsche Bank has
"zero tolerance" for customers seeking to evade taxes by holding
assets in foreign accounts managed by the lender, Co-Chief
Executive Juergen Fitschen told German radio broadcaster
"Tax evasion is a crime," Fitschen said in an interview.
Germany's biggest lender has restrictive policies for
dealing with its customers' overseas assets and all employees
working in the area are aware of it, Fitschen said.
"We have zero tolerance," he said, adding that if the bank
had the slightest indication that foreign assets handled by the
bank were not taxed, it would demand that customers prove the
assets were legitimate.
Tax evasion has become an election issue in Germany after
the shock revelation that Uli Hoeness, the Bayern Munich soccer
club president and an associate of Chancellor Angela Merkel, had
turned himself into tax authorities over a secret Swiss bank
Germany's financial watchdog Bafin plans to take a closer
look at banks' business in offshore tax havens.
Fitschen said he was confident the Bafin enquiry would bring
a good result. "As in other areas, we have nothing to hide."
Separately, UBS Chairman Axel Weber told
Wirtschaftswoche magazine that Switzerland's biggest bank would
no longer do business with customers seeking to evade taxes.
"I am confident that we can persuade the affected customers
to put their situation with the German tax authorities in
order," said Weber, who is a former Bundesbank president.
(Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Mark Heinrich)