Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Update on U.S.-Swiss Bank Matters - Of Apologies, Wages of Sin, and Leavers (9/4/13)

I offer this morning two news reports I recommend to viewers needing the daily fix on Swiss developments.

The three articles are:
  • Giles Broom, Swiss Bankers' Odier Sees U.S. Tax Spat Resolved by 2015 (Bloomberg 9/3/13), here.
  • Patrick Temple-West and Kevin Drawbaugh, Offshore tax-dodger dragnet widens with U.S.-Swiss bank deal: lawyers (Reuters 9/3/13), here.
  • Swiss banks apologize for assisting tax cheats (CNBC by Reuters 9/3/13), here.
In my comments, I refer to these articles in shorthand as Bloomberg, Reuters and CNBC, respectively.

The key points are

1.  As is often the case where someone has been caught with his hands in the cookie jar, there is an apology, sincere or not.  (Often the regret is at having gotten caught.)  At any rate. here is the mea culpa as articulated (CNBC article):
"It was not because we lacked skills and knowledge that we found ourselves in these unfortunate situations. It was because we acted wrongly and we displayed wrong conduct," Swiss bankers association chairman Patrick Odier told a news conference on Tuesday. 
"I regret this all the more because we have damaged the reputation of the entire Swiss financial center."
2.  The banker thinks that most Swiss banks subject to the regime can bear the cost, but that: (CNBC article): "There may be a few exceptions: banks which concentrated too much on these business activities may run into difficulties."  (See also the Bloomberg article.)

3.  The banker predicted that Swiss banks will reach final settlements by 2015, a 12-18 month process.

4.  The 14 banks not covered by the settlement regime because they are already under criminal prosecution may be able to settle their situations prior to 2015.  (Bloomberg article.)  JAT Note:  Of course, the expected cost of settlement will be greater.

5.  A key part of the settlement deal will to be to identify so-called "leavers" -- U.S. depositors who moved their funds to other banks to continue to hide them.  (Reuters article.)  I previously noted that the U.S. was keenly interested in leavers moving among Swiss banks as the U.S. focused on those with sufficient U.S. nexus to purse, in the hopes that some banks could protect them if they had no U.S. nexus.  The Reuters article indicates that the U.S. is now keenly interested in where the money went outside Switzerland.  With that data required under the settlement regime, the U.S. can target the more egregious offenders in other countries and bring the long arm of U.S. law (or power) to bear.

6.  With regard to these leavers, Scott Michel, here, a prominent player, said (Reuters article):  "Moving your money around to avoid disclosure is clear evidence of criminal intent." JAT Note:  Those players who are at high risk of being identified in the process should join the program (and, likely, not opt out).

7.  The Bloomberg article says that "Since 2009, the U.S. has prosecuted 68 account holders and more than 30 banking professionals for offshore tax crimes."  Actually, my list in the spreadsheet indicates 90 account holder charges (I call them taxpayer charges), but 7 of those were charged prior to 2009.  I think DOJ Tax may have propagated the number of 68, but I can't account yet for the difference between that number and my spreadsheet.  I will try to work on that sometime later this week and post an updated spreadsheet.

Addendum 9/4/13 3:30 pm:

This is another good article with some additional nuance.  Lynnley Browning, How tax dodgers can survive the Swiss bank bust (CNN Money 9/3/13), here.  Excerpts are:
[The settlement] strikes at the heart of the rest of the Swiss banking industry, more than 300 banks, by offering them an ultimatum: Rat out American clients and the lawyers and advisers who help them, fork over their bank data and pay hefty fines, or risk prosecution. 
Perhaps most importantly, the settlement divides those hundreds of banks into three groups -- those that can avoid prosecution by outing clients; those that have nothing to disclose; and those that are complying with a separate, new and onerous anti-tax evasion law known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca. 
Apart from the 14 banks under grand jury probes, American bank clients appear to have no idea which category their banks falls into. For taxpayers with a lot to lose, that makes the calculus of deciding whether to risk continuing to hide assets; to come forward to the IRS; or to make a "quiet disclosure" by sneaking in an amended tax return even more difficult, tax lawyers said 
* * * * 
With an estimated $2.2 trillion in offshore assets, more than any other global haven, the Alpine nation could find that a quarter of its storied private banks cease to exist within three years, according to a recent study by KPMG and the University of St. Gallen (located in the small mountain town where Wegelin, the country's oldest bank, was indicted last year for serving tax-dodging Americans. The bank, which once counted Napoleon as a client, no longer exists. 
* * * * 
Of the IRS disclosures [under the OVDI/P programs], "you can imagine that's maybe 20% or 15% of the total out there," said a senior American source briefed on the matter.


  1. another indication you can only count to

  2. Just like OVDI, the settlement with banks involves a one-size fits all (or four-sizes-fit all, actually) approach. UBS, and possibly others actively sought undeclared accounts. I suspect most banks dis not and simply accepted foreign accounts -- just like US banks do not inquire whether an American opening an account is depositing untaxed income.

    In the case of Credit Suisse, a bank about as large as UBS, only about 300 accounthoiders met the account size criteria for disclosure (I seem to recall it was 500K, but am not sure.)

  3. Effectively teaching elementary math to children aged 5 to 10 (Grade 1,Grade 2,Grade 3,Grade 4,Grade 5).Great for Homeschool kids! All math results are logged and graded and we show how they are improving through real-time hereForm 1,Form 2,Form 3

  4. Sods -----


    For almost two
    decades we have strived to get justice for the injustice we have
    suffered at the hands of a world renowned bank--- PICTET & CIE.

    Two yorkshiremen
    both running their own small family businesses trying to resolve the
    problem by taking all the correct legal procedures to recover their

    The matter was
    raised in Parliament – twice-- the FSA investigated the matter
    concluding that PICTET had rogues operating in their London Bank ---
    but the rogues had left ---saying no one left to prosecute.??? -----
    so there.

    We then
    approached the Financial Ombudsman Service. (FOS) --- our case was
    dealt with by seven different people ---- then our numerous E-Mails
    were ignored --- nobody would speak to us -------so there.

    We then asked the
    SFO ( Serious Fraud Office.) to investigate our case ---- the
    criteria of our case ticked all their boxes. --- we were instructed
    not to send them any documents/evidence.------ in fact they wrote to
    us advising us to go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau.(CAB.)

    Richard Alderman
    the SFO boss ---- who responded to our letter was the same man who
    would not investigate the “ Madoff” scandal or the “Libor”

    The MP's
    committee ---- said he was sloppy--- and the SFO was run like “
    Fred Karno's Circus” ------- so there.

    Our M.P.
    approached our local Chief Constable to investigate----- he was
    called---- Sir Norman Bettison--- Chief Constable of West Yorkshire
    Police ---- a force that made “ Dad's Army” look like the S.A.S.
    They were inept – corrupt ---malicious --- from top to bottom. We
    were criminally dealt with by the Forces Solicitor---- the Head of
    the Economic Crime Unit ----and the Chief Constable ----- so there.

    We were then
    advised to pass our complaint against West Yorkshire Police to the
    I.P.C.C. – which we did --- they advised us to make our complaint
    to ---- the West Yorkshire Police --- we did with reluctance --- all
    we got was abuse and obfuscation. ----- so there.

    Sir Norman
    Bettison ---- The Forces solicitor--- and the Head of the Economic
    Crime ---- have all been removed from their posts and facing criminal

    ------ so there.

    We even sought
    justice through the Courts --- culminating in a visit to the Court of
    Appeal-London.--- On leaving the Courts of Appeal that day our
    barrister a “rising star” informed us --- that if that was
    Justice then you can keep it. He quit the law and moved to Canada
    ----- so there.

    A few years later
    we learned that one of the judges in our case at the Court of Appeal
    was related to a senior executive of the Pictet Bank -----so there.

    Pictet & Cie
    .Bank --- voted private bank of the year 2013.

    Ivan Pictet ----
    Voted banker of the year 2012. ---- the senior partner --- lied on
    numerous occasions and had documents destroyed --- also said genuine
    documents were forgeries. ----- so there.

    Ivan Pictet in
    Oct. 2013 ---- Given the Legion of Honour --- but saying that ----
    honours were given to Hitler --- Eichmann --- Mussolini ---Franco
    --- he's in fitting company. ----so there.

    RAPHAEL.Q.C. -- Peters & Peters.London. They were the banks

    Raphael.Q.C. along with Ivan Pictet withheld crucial documents
    requested by the High Court ---- the FSA ---- and the police Fraud
    Squad. ----so there.

    Raphael.Q.C. became an Honorary Queens Counsellor in March. 2012.

    Raphael.Q.C. became a Master of the Bench in Nov.2012.

    An expert in
    Fraud ---the Doyen of Fraud Lawyers. ----- so there.

    This says a lot
    about Banks --- the consensus of opinion is that they are highly paid
    “crooks” ---- no wonder they voted Ivan Pictet banker of the

    Full Story.----
    “google ”




    Ivan Pictet/Monty

  5. Swiss Bank
    Accounts. 2014.

    Is your monies safe
    in these accounts ---- definitely NOT.

    Would you get your
    money back if every body decided to withdraw all their accounts –
    NO WAY.

    Economic Experts
    say that there would only enough money to repay 50% of their clients.

    Are you going to be
    in the 50% --- that loose your money.-- Get it out NOW.

    2012 -- - June.
    -- Published in Anglo INFO .Geneva.--- USA Trust Fund Investors were
    sent false and fraudulent documents by Pictet Bank.Switzerland. in
    order to collect large fees. ( Like MADOFF) ---Even after the SEC in
    the USA uncovered the fraud Pictet continued to charge fees and drain
    whatever was left in these accounts. Estimated that $90,000,000
    million lost in this Pictet Ponzi scheme.

    2012 - - - July.
    -- De – Spiegel. -- states – Pictet Bank uses a letterbox
    company in

    and a tax loophole involving investments in London to gain

    millionaires as clients.

    - - - August ---- German Opposition Leader accuses Swiss Banks of
    "organised crime."

    the fines that crooked Swiss banks have incurred in the last few
    years exceeds £15.Billion.

    is also calculated that the secrecy " agreements" with
    regards to tax evation by their clients will cost the banks another
    £45 Billion.

    banks are panicking --- the are quickly restructuring their banks
    ---- from partnerships --

    " LIMITED COMPANIES." ----- this will probably mean that
    in the future --- they could

    you only 10% of your monies " if you are one of the lucky ones"
    ---- and it be legal.


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