On May 28, 2015, the Department of Justice announced that four additional Swiss banks reached Non-Prosecution Agreements (NPA) with the United States, pursuant to the Swiss Bank Disclosure Program. These banks include Société Générale Private Banking (Lugano-Svizzera), MediBank AG, LBBW (Schweiz) AG and Scobag Privatbank AG.
The Disclosure Program for Swiss Banks, which was initiated in August 2013, allowed Swiss Bank to avoid criminal prosecution and criminal penalties in the U.S. with respect to their conduct related to American account holders, if banks agreed to make a complete disclosure of their cross-border activities, provide detailed information for accounts in which U.S. taxpayers have interest, cooperate with U.S. requests for account information, provide detailed information about other banks where funds were transferred when secret accounts were closed, close non-compliant accounts, and pay appropriate penalties.
The IRS also updated its list of Foreign Financial Institutions or Facilitators, including the banks that had recently reached a NPA with the Department of Justice. Clients of the banks appearing on this list are subject to a 50% Penalty in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The list now includes:
- UBS AG
- Credit Suisse AG, Credit Suisse Fides, and Clariden Leu Ltd.
- Wegelin & Co.
- Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG
- Zurcher Kantonalbank
- swisspartners Investment Network AG, swisspartners Wealth Management AG, swisspartners Insurance Company SPC Ltd., and swisspartners Versicherung AG
- CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited, its predecessors, subsidiaries, and affiliates
- Stanford International Bank, Ltd., Stanford Group Company, and Stanford Trust Company, Ltd.
- The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in India (HSBC India)
- The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (also known as Butterfield Bank and Bank of Butterfield), its predecessors, subsidiaries, and affiliates
- Sovereign Management & Legal, Ltd., its predecessors, subsidiaries, and affiliates (effective 12/19/14)
- Bank Leumi le-Israel B.M., The Bank Leumi le-Israel Trust Company Ltd, Bank Leumi (Luxembourg) S.A., Leumi Private Bank S.A., and Bank Leumi USA (effective 12/22/14)
- BSI SA (effective 3/30/15)
- Vadian Bank AG (effective 5/8/15)
- Finter Bank Zurich AG (effective 5/15/15)
- Societe Generale Private Banking (Lugano-Svizzera) SA (effective 5/28/15)
- MediBank AG (effective 5/28/15)
- LBBW (Schweiz) AG (effective 5/28/15)
- Scobag Privatbank AG (effective 5/28/15)
- Rothschild Bank AG (effective 6/3/15)
- Banca Credinvest SA (effective 6/3/15)
Taxpayers, who enter Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, and whose accounts were maintained by the banks not on this list are subject to the penalty of 27.5% of the highest account balance.
Former IRS Attorneys of Holtz, Slavett & Drabkin have develooped extensive experience in dealing with issues related to offshore accounts, FBARs, and Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. You can contact us at (310) 550-6200 to schedule a consultation.