In August, a total of seven banks reached resolutions under DOJ’s Swiss Bank Program. Since 2013, the Swiss Bank Program has provided a path for Swiss banks to resolve potential criminal liability in the United States. In exchange for complying with certain requirements, including complete disclosure of possible tax-related criminal offenses in connection with undeclared U.S.-related accounts, the banks entered into non-prosecution agreements (“NPAs”) with DOJ. Under the NPAs, each bank must cooperate in related criminal or civil proceedings, show implementation of controls to stop tax-related misconduct, and pay penalties. To mitigate its penalty, each bank will encourage its U.S. account holders to become compliant with their U.S. tax and disclosure obligations, including through participation in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.
- On August 3, Bank EKI Genossenschaft (“Bank EKI”) signed an NPA and agreed to pay a $400,000 penalty. Bank EKI provided services such as holding clients’ mail, and did not implement an effective supervisory system to increase its U.S.-related clients’ tax compliance. Since August 1, 2008, Bank EKI held a total of 64 U.S.-related accounts, representing over $2.1 million in assets.
- On August 6, Privatbank Reichmuth & Co. (“Reichmuth”), Banque Cantonale du Jura SA (“BCJ”) and Banca Intermobilare di Investimenti e Gestioni (Suisse) SA (“BIM Suisse”) signed NPAs. Reichmuth will pay a penalty of $2.592 million, BCJ will pay a penalty of $970,000 and BIM Suisse will not pay a penalty. All three banks offered hold mail services and otherwise assisted U.S. customers in evading their U.S. tax obligations. Since August 1, 2008, Reichmuth maintained and serviced 103 U.S.-related accounts with an aggregate value of approximately $281 million; BCJ has maintained 118 U.S.-related accounts and managed approximately $10 million; and BIM Suisse maintained 16 U.S.-related accounts, 13 of which were closed by May 2015.
- On August 20, bank zweiplus ag (“Bank Zweiplus”) and Banca dello Stato del Cantone Ticino (“Banco Stato”) signed NPAs. Bank Zweiplus maintained and serviced 44 U.S.-related accounts with an aggregate value of approximately $12.1 million. Bank Zweiplus will pay a penalty of $1.089 million. Banco Stato maintained and serviced 187 U.S.-related accounts with an aggregate maximum balance of approximately $137 million. Banco Stato will pay a $3.393 million penalty.
- On August 27, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG (“HBL”) signed an NPA and agreed to pay a penalty of $560,000. In addition to offering the traditional Swiss banking services, HBL opened accounts for former UBS account holders and received a transfer of funds from an account held at UBS into a preexisting account at HBL, despite the public announcement that UBS was the target of a criminal investigation by the IRS and DOJ. HBL held 96 U.S.-related accounts with an aggregate value of $69.8 million.