Deutsche Bank AG’s Swiss unit has entered a U.S. Justice Department self-reporting program for banks that believe they may have helped Americans evade taxes, according to people familiar with the matter.
* * * *
Deutsche Bank’s Swiss business has around 13,000 clients in total, though the number of U.S. clients is insignificant, a person familiar with the matter said.
* * * *
The Justice Department’s self-reporting program for Swiss banks represents the culmination of a years-long U.S. legal crackdown. The first non-prosecution agreements for banks participating in the program could be announced as soon as the end of this year, according to attorneys and experts.
Some banks in the self-reporting program have found the process to be trying, people familiar with the matter said.
For instance, banks must try to get current and former clients to waive their right to privacy under Swiss law, so that they can identify those clients to U.S. authorities as having disclosed their accounts. Amounts voluntarily disclosed by these clients can be subtracted from a bank’s penalty, according to the program’s rules.
The savings could be substantial. Some banks in the program could see hundreds of millions of dollars shaved from their total penalties, according to people familiar with the matter. But many disgruntled clients have been unwilling to provide the necessary paperwork, these people say.