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Tax-Dodger Hunt Neutralizes Swiss Bank Secrecy, U.S. Says

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U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Suzi LeVine. Photographer: Peter Mosimann/U.S. Embassy Bern via Bloomberg

U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Suzi LeVine. Photographer: Peter Mosimann/U.S. Embassy Bern via Bloomberg

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Swiss banking secrecy is no longer viable as the U.S. Justice Department closes in on agreements with most of the institutions that may have helped Americans evade taxes, according to the top American diplomat in Switzerland.

Negotiations with about one-third of Swiss lenders, known as Category 2 banks, to finalize their non-prosecution agreements are “almost done” and should be completed by the end of this year, Suzi LeVine, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, said in an interview Wednesday in Geneva. Thirty-one banks had struck deals by Aug. 20 with most paying fines, leaving another 50 to 60 in talks, according to estimates by lawyers.