Swiss Banks Avoid U.S. Tax Prosecution, Disclose Accounts

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Two Swiss banks will pay combined penalties of almost $6 million to avoid prosecution under a U.S. program that requires Swiss firms to say how they helped American clients avoid taxes.

Bank Linth LLB AG and Bank Sparhafen Zurich AG are the latest to have settled with the U.S. Justice Department. Since March 30, 13 banks have agreed to pay combined penalties of $265.8 million. More than 100 Swiss firms entered the Justice Department program at the end of 2013.

Under the program, Swiss banks escape charges by laying out details of their cross-border business, as well as sharing information on American accounts.

The non-prosecution agreements aren’t available to a dozen Swiss banks under criminal investigation. Credit Suisse Group AG’s main bank subsidiary pleaded guilty last year and paid a $2.6 billion fine.

Bank Linth, based in Uznach, will pay a $4.15 million penalty. It had 126 U.S. related accounts since 2008 with $102 million in assets, the Justice Department said Friday. BSZ, based in Zurich, is paying $1.81 million. The bank had 91 U.S.- related accounts since 2008 with more than $25 million in assets.

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