Swiss Bank to Disclose Client Data
November 11, 2011 Offshore Banking
BERN – Switzerland is set to feel another blow to its lauded banking secrecy rules, as the country’s second largest bank gets ready to release details of some of its clients to US tax authorities.
On November 8th, Swiss media revealed that Credit Suisse has sent out letters to a number of its American clients, stating that the bank will cooperate with US demands to release data of a number of US taxpayers with Swiss bank accounts.
The letters, which are reportedly dated November 2nd, indicated that the bank will disclose the names and bank details of clients who are under suspicion by US tax authorities of evading their US based tax obligations through undisclosed bank accounts with Credit Suisse. The clients in question would have held bank accounts in Switzerland at any time between the end of 2002 and the start of 2011. The bank has so far refused to reveal how many American clients have been sent the letter.
According to instructions contained in the correspondence, the holders of the bank accounts may now agree to the action, or contest the disclosure through legal action in Switzerland. However, US based tax analysts have said that protesting the act would ultimately prove to be ineffective, as bringing the proceedings to court would effectively reveal the identity of the bank account holder.