Switzerland's oldest bank Wegelin & Co
announced Tuesday that it would soon close down, after a New York
court convicted it of having aided US tax evaders.
The court ruled Monday that the 272-year-old private bank would have to pay a penalty of 58 million dollars, in addition to the 16 million dollars that had already been impounded in the United States.
The bank plead guilty of having helped US clients hide more than 1.2 billion dollars from tax authorities, by setting up accounts that were hard to trace.
It was the first time that a foreign bank was convicted in such a case, federal prosecutors said in New York.
Fearing such a high fine, Wegelin last year transferred its non-US assets to its subsidiary Notenstein Private Bank Ltd. Notenstein was then sold to the Swiss banking group Raiffeisen Schweiz.
US authorities have investigated 11 Swiss banks including Credit Suisse and UBS, and have arrested and charged several Swiss bankers in recent years.
Threatened by such lawsuits, Switzerland's government agreed last year to loosen its banking secrecy rules and has provided more banking data to US tax authorities.
Most Popular Stories
- Twitter Names Woman to Board
- Obamacare Doing Just Fine, Ky. Governor Says
- Rand Paul Signs up for Obamacare
- Hispanic Employment Improves in November
- How to Arm Yourself Against CryptoLocker Virus
- Thalia Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Trapped Florida Whales Head for Deeper Waters
- Aspen Contracting Adding 300 Jobs
- Dow Jumps 200 Points on Jobs Data
- U.S. Chamber to Run Ads in Idaho, W.Va.