One of Switzerland’s oldest banks, Clariden Leu, has become the latest to cooperate with U.S. tax authorities.
The bank has begun notifying some of its U.S. customers that it plans to reveal their names and account information to the Internal Revenue Service, according to Reuters. The news follows on the heels of Credit Suisse notifying its U.S. customers of its intention to begin disclosing names after the IRS submitted a request to Swiss tax authorities (see Credit Suisse Plans to Disclose Accounts to IRS). The IRS and the Justice Department have been pressuring the Swiss government, Credit Suisse, UBS and other Swiss banks to overturn centuries of banking secrecy tradition in an effort to curb offshore tax evasion.
The Swiss government agreed to disclose the identities of approximately 4,450 clients of UBS in 2009 after UBS signed a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department under which it agreed to pay $780 million. Several other Swiss banks, including Julius Baer and Basler Kantonalbank, have also reportedly come under investigation.
Zurich-based Clariden Leu, which is part of Credit Suisse, has followed its parent bank’s lead and begun notifying U.S. customers of a treaty request by the IRS. On Friday, the 250-year-old bank publicly announced the move in a terse statement echoing one recently issued by Credit Suisse.
“The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently submitted a request for administrative assistance to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) pursuant to the 1996 double tax treaty between Switzerland and the USA, seeking information with regards to accounts of domiciliary companies belonging to certain U.S. persons as beneficial owners (the Treaty Request),” said a statement by the bank. “In connection with the IRS Treaty Request, the SFTA has issued an order directing Clariden Leu AG to submit responsive account information to the SFTA.”
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