Category: Zurich

Swiss Come Clean Amid Data Swaps

Switzerland’s abandonment of banking secrecy for international tax dodgers is having an unexpected side effect at home: more domestic tax cheats with accounts around Europe are coming forward. If 2017 was the glide path for Switzerland’s international data-swapping agreements, this year means business: Swiss banks must automatically share client data… – Continue reading

VAT tweaks to help offset income tax cut

THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT will keep value-added tax (VAT) exemptions for three key sectors, but may opt to remove this benefit from senior citizens and others to arrive at a “fair” tax regime. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters late last week that the government is looking to trim… – Continue reading

Nine measures taken by government to curb black money

The government is hell-bent on cracking down on black money and undisclosed income of Indians within the country and safely stowed away abroad. While there is no proper estimation of the actual amount of black money in the economy, the government is actively taking measures to stop it. Recent media… – Continue reading

Would the real tax havens please stand

“It is tantamount to an economic blockade”. That’s how Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, described the current withdrawal from Caribbean indigenous and offshore banks of correspondent relationships by US banks. His sentiments were echoed by Dean Barrow and Freundel Stuart, the prime ministers of Belize and Barbados respectively…. – Continue reading

Two Swiss Banks Reach Deal to Avoid Possible U.S. Tax-Evasion Charges

Two Swiss banks will pay a total of more than $107 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid possible prosecution for helping Americans evade taxes, the department said on Thursday. Bank Lombard Odier & Co. Ltd, a Geneva-based unit of Lombard Odier Group, will pay $99.8 million in… – Continue reading

Swiss bank Julius Baer to settle US tax probe for $547 mn

One of the leading Swiss banks Julius Baer Group AG is set to reach a deal with US authorities over a tax probe by paying $547 million early next year. Julius Baer, Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager after UBS and Credit Suisse has been under criminal investigation since 2011 by the… – Continue reading

Swiss, Italy agree deal on taxing cross-border commuters

ZURICH: Negotiators from Switzerland and neighbour Italy reached agreement on Tuesday on how to tax cross-border commuters, wrapping up months of talks that aimed to help Italy crack down on undeclared foreign wealth. The accord, which must be approved by both national governments and parliaments, would see workers paying up… – Continue reading

Swiss banks pay $130M to avoid US tax evasion charges

Three Swiss banks, including a unit of France’s Crédit Agricole SA, will pay a total of more than $130 million to the U.S. Justice Department to avoid possible prosecution for helping Americans evade taxes, the department said on Tuesday. The Zurich-based unit of Crédit Agricole will pay $99.2 million, the… – Continue reading

The minister who dismantled Swiss banking secrecy

As the curtain falls on Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf’s career in government, one of the most abiding legacies she leaves behind is the collapse of Swiss banking secrecy under her watch as Finance Minister. Her predecessor, Hans-Rudolf Merz, told the world in 2008 that it would “break its teeth on Swiss banking… – Continue reading

Free Webinar: BEPS could produce a “wild west” tax approach to captives

Tax authorities around the world could take a “cowboy” attitude towards captive tax rights when following guidance from the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) papers, according to Dr Pierre Olivier Gehriger, partner and certified tax expert at Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law. Speaking on a Captive Review webinar hosted by… – Continue reading

Chris Blackhurst: Britain’s island tax havens need action

Amid all the diplomatic comings and goings on Syria and how to tackle Islamic State, an important but little-noticed high-level gathering has been taking place in London. The Overseas Territories were holding the fourth meeting of their Joint Ministerial Council at Lancaster House. Leaders from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands,… – Continue reading

The Changing Face of Luxembourg Finance

“Luxembourg is famous for two things: its steel industry and its rose cultivation industry”. This quote from an Italian guidebook of the 1930s was uttered by Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna at the annual conference of the Luxembourg Directors’ Association on 17 June 2015[1]. The economic outlook of the tiny… – Continue reading

Julius Baer’s Meier Says Future for Advice Is Local

Veteran banker says India purchase reflects client demand for onshore private banking advice. Julius Baer’s Asia Pacific head Thomas Meier is preparing to leave Asia after 20 years, but he isn’t leaving Asia behind. The veteran banker, who also worked at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, will continue to oversee… – Continue reading

US Justice Department Announces Privatbank IHAG Zürich AG Reaches Resolution Under Swiss Bank

The Department of Justice announced today that Privatbank IHAG Zürich AG (IHAG) reached a resolution under the department’s Swiss Bank Program. IHAG will pay a penalty of more than $7 million. “Through the information provided by IHAG and other Swiss banks in the Program, the department has unraveled the various… – Continue reading

More Banks Spill Tax Evasion Secrets To Avoid Criminal Charges, Account Holders Beware

Lately, the IRS is warning offshore account holders to disclose before it’s too late. Under FATCA, banks everywhere want to know if you are compliant with the IRS. And the cost of compliance for many people is growing. The IRS updated its list of foreign banks where accounts trigger a… – Continue reading

US Justice Department Announces Two Banks Reach Resolutions Under Swiss Bank

The Department of Justice announced today that Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (Suisse) SA (BIL Switzerland) and Zuger Kantonalbank (ZGKB) have reached resolutions under the department’s Swiss Bank Program. These banks will collectively pay penalties totaling more than $13 million and continue to cooperate with the department. “The agreements reached today… – Continue reading

Michael Gray: The UK’s tax avoidance scandal is a sorry tale

DID you hear the story about the Queen, tax evasion, a nationalised British bank for the rich and famous, a whistleblower and a £7bn under sale to ‘reward cronies and cheat the taxpayer’? Sounds like a pretty big deal, right? But last Thursday’s damning testimony from Helen Goodman MP –… – Continue reading

Mexico’s 16% Discount for Paying Cash Shows Tax Evasion’s Allure

On a warm afternoon last month, Mexican central bank Governor Agustin Carstens looked out over sun-drenched piles of dirt and construction equipment near Guadalajara and hailed the groundbreaking of a new currency-printing plant as a sign of a solid economy. There’s one catalyst for rising cash demand that isn’t a… – Continue reading

“Cronies and cheating the taxpayer”: MP targets RBS bank tax avoiders in share sell off

Call to halt bank sale in favour of reform rejected by UK Government UK MINISTERS decided to “wash their hands” of a tax evasion scandal in a subsidiary of the government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, according to damning testimony given by a former treasury official who is now a Labour… – Continue reading

US Justice Department Announces Four Banks Reach Resolutions Under Swiss Bank

The Department of Justice announced today that Luzerner Kantonalbank AG (Luzerner), Habib Bank AG Zurich (HBZ), Banque Heritage S.A. and Hyposwiss Private Bank Genève S.A. (Hyposwiss Geneva) have reached resolutions under the department’s Swiss Bank Program. These banks will collectively pay penalties totaling more than $25 million and continue to… – Continue reading

China Construction Bank Wins License for Branch in Switzerland

(Bloomberg) — China Construction Bank Corp. became the first Chinese bank to receive permission to offer commercial- banking services and clear renminbi transactions in Switzerland. The Swiss financial regulator, Finma, granted the bank permission to open a branch in Zurich, a spokesman said by phone Monday. China Construction Bank applied… – Continue reading

US Justice Department Announces BBVA Suiza S.A. Reaches Resolution Under Swiss Bank Program – Bank Will Pay Penalty Of More Than $10 Million And Continue To Cooperate With Department

The Department of Justice announced today that BBVA Suiza S.A. has reached a resolution under the department’s Swiss Bank Program. “Swiss banks such as BBVA Suiza S.A. are providing detailed information regarding their efforts to conceal U.S.-related accounts, and are turning over the names of individuals and entities that facilitated… – Continue reading

Is a Canada Revenue Agency landlord avoiding taxes via offshore havens?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rents office space from a Vancouver-based property developer – a company that exploits offshore tax havens in Liechtenstein, the British Virgin Islands and Channel Islands. Larco Investments Ltd. owns three buildings in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton where they rent office space to the CRA. Larco… – Continue reading

American Dream Relocates to Bermuda, Says Fishman, Blaming Taxes

Jay Fishman, who built New York-based Travelers Cos. into one of the world’s biggest insurers, lamented that disparities in tax rates are pushing established rivals and industry newcomers outside the U.S. Over the past 15 years or so, “we’ve counted 10, 12, maybe even 15 Bermuda-based startups that ultimately became… – Continue reading

Cash-flush Julius Baer on the acquisitions trail

LAUSANNE — Julius Baer Group should have cash to purchase rivals even as it prepares to settle a four-year probe into tax evasion by the US justice department. Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager said last month it set aside $350m to fund a financial agreement over the bank’s role in helping… – Continue reading

Banking on Asia: Fund distributor with HSBC

HSBC Global Asset Management head of internationals Mark Newsam explains why he identifies Asia as potentially the strongest future growth opportunity for the group’s offshore business. How big is HSBC Global Asset Management within the inter-national space? HSBC Global Asset Management is the investment management business of the HSBC Group,… – Continue reading

Baer Jumps on Bets U.S. Fine to Be Lower Than Estimated

Julius Baer Group Ltd. rose the most in four months in Zurich trading on speculation a U.S. fine for helping Americans avoid taxes will be lower than analysts had estimated. Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager said on Tuesday it will take a provision of $350 million this month to settle the… – Continue reading

Swiss attorney general cites 53 possible money-laundering incidents in FIFA World Cup probe

BERN, Switzerland – Reeling from an American federal investigation of bribery in soccer, FIFA was put under more pressure Wednesday as the scale of a separate Swiss investigation of suspected money laundering was revealed. Banks in Switzerland have flagged up 53 possible acts of money-laundering that could be linked to… – Continue reading

Julius Baer Starts Probe Amid FIFA Corruption Allegations

Julius Baer of Switzerland became the latest bank to start an internal probe of money transfers linked to an investigation of FIFA, world soccer’s ruling body. Julius Baer joined banks including the U.K.’s Standard Chartered Plc in reporting that it began an inquiry. The Zurich-based firm was named as one… – Continue reading

DOJ Announces Four More Swiss Bank Resolutions

Last week, the Justice Department announced that it had reached resolutions with four more Swiss banks under the terms of the DOJ Swiss Bank Program. The latest banks to resolve their U.S. tax issues are the following: Société Générale Private Banking (Lugano-Svizzera); MediBank AG; LBBW (Schweiz) AG; and Scobag Privatbank… – Continue reading