Three more Swiss banks settle with United States over tax probes

By: | Published: July 17, 2015 8:44 AM

Three more Swiss banks will pay penalties to the United States as part of deals that mean they will not face criminal charges for helping Americans avoid taxes.

Three more Swiss banks will pay penalties to the United States as part of deals that mean they will not face criminal charges for helping Americans avoid taxes.

Mercantil Bank (Schweiz) AG will pay $1.172 million, Banque Cantonale Neuchu00e2teloise will pay $1.123 million and Nidwaldner Kantonalbank will pay $856,000, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

According to terms of the agreements, all will cooperate in any related criminal or civil proceedings and show implementation of controls to stop misconduct.

Nidwaldner Kantonalbank and Banque Cantonale Neuchu00e2teloise said in separate statements that the penalties had been provisioned for and would not affect current year results. Mercantil Bank was not immediately available for comment.

This brings to 20 the number of Swiss banks that have reached settlements with the Justice Department under a voluntary program set up in 2013 through which 100 eligible Swiss banks reported suspected tax evasion in U.S-related accounts.

The United States aims to reach deals with them all by the end of 2015.

Most of the banks that have settled with the United States knowingly signed up clients fleeing other major Swiss banks in 2008, such as UBS AG, that were being investigated for helping Americans conceal their assets and income.

The United States is still conducting criminal investigations of other banks exempt from the Swiss bank program, including Julius Baer and HSBC’s Swiss private bank.

In June, Julius Baer said it had booked a $350 million charge against first-half results towards an expected settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over alleged tax offenses.

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