Swiss banks: Thrown to the dogs

Dougan expresses regret

PRIZING discretion as they do, Swiss bankers prefer to avoid the limelight. Especially uncomfortable is the attention of the United States Senate, where a subcommittee headed by Carl Levin has gone after American tax dodgers and their accomplices like a starving hound chasing a fox. A hearing on UBS in 2008 led to a $780m fine for the largest Swiss bank and, in an unprecedented breach of bank secrecy, the handover of names linked to 4,700 accounts. This week it was the turn of Credit Suisse, the Alpine country’s other banking giant, to answer questions stemming from a scathing 175-page report.The subcommittee found much evidence of subterfuge in 2001-08, some of it provided by former Credit Suisse clients who had joined a voluntary-disclosure programme. Private bankers went out of their way to avoid paper trails. Some snuck into America on tourist visas. Others told clients not to send faxes with American area codes. Transactions were split into amounts that would not trigger reporting requirements for cash transfers. Clients were helped to disguise account ownership using shell companies.The bank did not...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

0 nhận xét:

Post a Comment