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Credit Suisse released 130 US client files: report

AFP · 14 Nov 2011, 09:06

Published: 14 Nov 2011 09:06 GMT+01:00

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Switzerland's second-biggest bank Credit Suisse has sent 130 files on US clients to the Swiss tax authorities, who might forward them to their US counterparts, a Swiss weekly reported on Sunday.

The dossiers were of US clients with offshore accounts with Credit Suisse and its subsidiary Clariden Leu, SonntagsZeitung reported, citing an official close to the dossier.

Contacted by the weekly for a response, Credit Suisse refused to confirm the report.

Last Tuesday, Credit Suisse acknowledged that it had warned American clients that they may be the target of a US tax probe, after it was ordered by Bern to provide the clients' details.

A message to that effect also appears on Clariden Leu's website.

Washington formally asked Bern to hand over data of Credit Suisse's US clients, as part of its probe into whether 11 Swiss banks helped US citizens to evade taxes.

Under the procedure, the Swiss government would have to decide whether to agree to Washington's request.

But agreements signed between the two countries required the bank to pass the information to the Swiss federal authorities.

Any client affected would nevertheless have the right to appeal against Bern's decision.

Credit Suisse's letter advised clients to hire lawyers as well as a contact persons in Switzerland to represent them, if required, at the Swiss tax office.

In its third-quarter earnings report, Credit Suisse said it had set aside 295 million francs ($327 million) in provisions for the case.

Story continues below…

The widened US probe against Swiss banks follows a successful offensive against Switzerland's biggest bank UBS, which was forced to pay $780 million in fine and to send details of 4,000 clients to US tax authorities.

The 11 Swiss banks currently being investigated include Julius Bär, Zürcher KantonalBank and Bank Wegelin.

Switzerland has been under pressure since the recent financial crisis over its banking secrecy rules, as countries with depleted state coffers seek to claw back revenues from tax cheats.

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Your comments about this article

2011-11-17 22:37:45 by Global Macro
These people are not "tax evaders." They are refugees. The US government has become increasingly oppressive of its own people. These people are just trying to protect their families and themselves. The Swiss once enjoyed an enviable reputation for protecting the privacy of its depositors. It is a shame that the Swiss government has no longer found it possible to resist oppression and protect its customers.
2011-11-15 16:54:51 by HoppSuisse

It is not possible for these 130 Americans to avoid taxes with an account here as they would have to pay about 30% withholding tax on all their interest income, plus they would not be able to get any tax refund if they are not declaring it in the US, plus they would have to pay the costs of money transfer and they would pay for any currency exchange (typically 3% of total in a round-trip). And they would not get as much interest for their money, especially if they have an account in CHF.

All-in-all an account here is quite costly and generally the only reason why they would open an account would be because they have done something illegal to get the money or they do not trust their government. Putting money in a Swiss bank saves it from confiscation and Privacy keeps their governments from putting pressure on immovable assets (like Real Estate), income and family. The US is debasing the Dollar through printing so all their Dollars are losing value, in fact about 20% against the Swiss Frank since 2008. I remember back in the 80s they would get about 1.80 CHF for their dollar and now they will get only .90 CHF for their Dollar. Printing money is often called the secret tax.

2011-11-14 19:28:12 by jmclewis
@HoppSuisse These 130 individuals may have done wrong if they moved the money to Switzerland to avoid taxation at home and not for another legitimate legal purpose.
2011-11-14 14:52:45 by HoppSuisse
Do not do this, it is against the law!

Foreigners have their human right to privacy. If we betray those foreigners who trusted us it will eventually be our own turn to lose our freedoms. And which other laws will we give up, neutrality?

These 130 people (and their families) have done nothing wrong. They pay Switzerland a very high tax so obviously they have not brought their money to us to avoid taxes. They have brought their money to us because they are afraid their governments will steal it from them. We are a nutral people, we do not take sides, especially with big bullies.

Do not be afraid of these governments but stand up for who we are. Do what is right.

2011-11-14 13:48:39 by jmclewis
130 American Guys are not sleeping well.
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