FRANKFURT Jan 12 German prosecutors and tax
authorities are investigating clients of Leumi for
allegedly evading taxes through a Swiss branch of the Israeli
bank, a German magazine reported.
Leumi said it is aware of an investigation being conducted
by the German authorities relating to bank customers that
allegedly did not report to the German tax authority regarding
accounts held with banks outside Germany.
The prosecutor's office and tax fraud investigators were not
available for comment on Sunday.
Banking secrecy has been steadily eroded over the past few
years after the global financial crisis and rising national
debts raised public pressure on governments to make it harder
for wealthy individuals to shield their money from tax.
According to the magazine report, the German authorities are
basing their probe on a data CD that the State of North
Rhine-Westphalia bought in late 2013 from a foreign
whistle-blower. Several prominent and wealthy people - one
holding 80 million euros ($110 million) in assets - are being
targeted, the report said.
German prosecutors have made several raids in investigations
into tax evasion, some of them following tips found on CDs of
data. Swiss officials have accused the Germans of breaking Swiss
laws on banking secrecy and of committing economic espionage.