Swiss Bank exits FATCA programme

| 15/12/2014 | 5 Comments

(CNS Business): Barclays Bank’s Swiss operations is ending its cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service’s efforts to prevent investors from investing money in foreign countries with more amenable tax structures and policies. During a Zurich speech, Barclays bank executive Francesco Grosoli announced that the firm’s Swiss operations had “recently exited the program”, after evaluating its legal options, according to a report from Heartlander.

Grosoli declined to reveal additional details, but said that the bank had decided to end compliance with the US extra-territorial enforcement actions at some point within the last “three or four months”.

The program, organized under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), requires foreign banks to provide confidential information to the IRS. Non-compliance carries heavy penalties levied upon foreign firms, with fines as high as half of the value of the American assets in question.

Announcing the law’s passage in 2010, President Barack Obama warned financial institutions that if they did not cooperate with the US, “we will assume that they are sheltering money in tax havens and act accordingly”.

Since the law’s passage, 25 bank employees have been accused of helping clients evade taxes. Two of Switzerland’s top banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, have paid fines of over $3 billion combined, while dozens of other bank are still under investigation.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (5)

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  1. Peter L says:

    Good for Swiss Bank! Good to see an organisation with the backbone to stand up for freedom.

    • Straightforward says:

      Disappointed that attention to detail is ignored: it is not Swiss Bank, it is Barclays Bank, read the very first sentence of the article.

  2. Puddle says:

    Good, about time someone stood up to such extraterritorial bullying. The U.S. government needs to get rid of it’s ridiculous citizenship based taxation and stop penalizing law abiding citizens in other countries, some of whom have never even lived or worked in the U.S. Didn’t they once start a war with someone for doing to them what they are now doing to others? So much for the land of the free. So much for not meeting out excessive fines (8th amendment) and so much for no searches or seizures of personal property without showing probable cause (4th amendment).

  3. JV says:

    So does this mean the bank will welcome US investor money with open arms?

    • Caymanview says:

      JV – I suspect the opposite – if Americans are persona non-grata the need to comply with FATCA disappears.

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