Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER) Chief Executive Officer Boris Collardi said he aims to reach a settlement this year with the U.S. Department of Justice amid a probe into Swiss banks helping Americans evade taxes.
Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager is currently in negotiations with authorities, Collardi, 39, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Haslinda Amin in Singapore. “We’ve already been out there for four years.”
The bank is one of at least 14 Swiss financial firms under investigation by the Justice Department since 2009. Larger rival Credit Suisse Group AG helped American customers hide as much as $10 billion in assets from the Internal Revenue Service, more than double the amount previously known, according to a U.S. Senate committee report this week.
Legal and advisory expenses at Zurich-based Julius Baer related to the probe exceed 70 million francs ($79 million) as of Dec. 31, including 15 million francs set aside in 2013 for future legal costs.
The bank hasn’t been approached by the Senate subcommittee that released the report this week on questionable practices by Credit Suisse, Collardi said. That group said 1,800 Credit Suisse employees helped Americans open 22,000 accounts, most of which were hidden from the IRS, and questioned the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan in Washington on Feb. 26.
“I don’t anticipate Bank Julius Baer to be in the same situation because we have been proactively approaching DoJ to make full disclosure of our numbers,” Collardi said today. “I’ve been personally involved in our exercise.”
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