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Two more Swiss banks agree to deals over tax evasion

Two more Swiss banks agree to deals over tax evasion

(13 July 2015 – Switzerland) Banque Pasche and Arvest Privatbank are the latest Swiss banks to agree on deals with the United States Justice Department over tax evasion by Americans.

Banque Pasche will pay US$7.22 billion (A$9.68 billion) while Arvest Privatbank will pay US$1.04 billion in penalties under the deal which means they will avoid any criminal charges.

Fifteen Swiss banks have already cut deals with the department under a voluntary program in which they could report suspected tax evasion.

More deals are likely as about 100 banks have signed up to the program.

The Justice Department said that Banque Pasche, which has operations in Monaco and the Bahamas, helped US taxpayers evade taxes relating to 186 accounts from August 2008 to August 2013.

Since August 2008, Arvest Privatbank has had 52 US-related accounts which the department felt were used to dodge taxes.

The Justice Department and Inland Revenue Service (IRS) said information provided by the two banks would help in future investigations.

"Today's agreements are significant both individually and in conjunction with the previous Swiss bank program agreements," said Richard Weber, of IRS Criminal Investigation.

"Individually, each bank agreement provides additional information to the IRS to assist us in going after illegally concealed offshore accounts and the financial professionals who helped US taxpayers hide assets abroad," he said.

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