July 19, 2018 / 5:26 AM / 10 months ago

Swiss' NPB Neue Private Bank settles U.S. charges it helped clients evade taxes

ZURICH (Reuters) - A Swiss private bank has agreed to pay $5 million to settle its dispute with the United States Department of Justice over secret bank accounts used by American customers to dodge taxes, the federal agency said on Thursday.

NPB Neue Bank has become the latest Swiss financial company to sign a non prosecution agreement with the DoJ, and agreed to cooperate in criminal or civil proceedings related to undeclared U.S. accounts.

The Zurich-based bank helped clients open and keep undeclared accounts in Switzerland and conceal the assets and income they held in these accounts from the U.S. government, the DoJ said.

It offered a variety of banking services which it knew could help U.S. clients hide assets and income from the tax authorities, the DoJ added.

Between August 1, 2008 and December 31, 2015, NPB held a total of 353 U.S.-related accounts, which included both declared and undeclared accounts, with total value of approximately $400 million.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ending the practice of using foreign bank accounts to evade taxes,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

“Taxpayers and financial institutions should take notice that the Department is continuing to aggressively pursue these cases.”

Several Swiss asset managers have agreed to settlements after charges they also helped American clients evade U.S. taxes by opening undeclared foreign accounts.

Still other Swiss banks including Zuercher Kantonalbank’s ZKB.UL are waiting to resolve their cases.

Reporting by John Revill

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