Swiss EFG Bank to pay $29 million in Justice Dept plan deal

The bank settled beneath a voluntary program the Justice Department launched in 2013 to allow Swiss banks to resolve possible criminal charges by disclosing cross-border activities that helped U.S. account holders conceal assets.

Beneath the plan, banks have to also provide detailed data on the accounts of U.S. taxpayers below investigation. Banks that had been currently under criminal investigation had been excluded from the system.

The agreement “removes a main supply of uncertainty and will enable senior management to devote far more of their time to delivering lucrative development,” the bank stated in a statement posted on its internet site.

The penalty is larger than the $ 10.eight million that the company had already set aside in anticipation of the settlement, the bank stated.

Seven Switzerland-primarily based EFG bankers collectively made at least 72 business trips to the U.S. in between 2005 and 2013, the Justice Division stated.

1 banker set up a client referral system with two U.S.-based lawyers, an accountant, and a fiduciary firm. A lawyer asked the banker not to travel to the United States with a pc and to use faxes, not emails, to communicate about consumers. These measures would avoid authorities from studying their identities and arrangements.

“I will then acquire me one at BestBuy and leave it there for use when I am traveling. So I never ever will cary a laptop over the border,” the banker mentioned, according to the Justice Department, which did not determine the banker.

EFG held a total of 919 U.S.-associated accounts because August, 2008 with a collective peak worth of about $ 1.58 billion, the Justice Division stated.

The Justice Department, in recent months, has announced a spate of other settlements below its Swiss plan. On Nov. 24 Deutsche Bank AG’s Swiss unit agreed in a settlement with the Justice Division to spend far more than $ 31 million. (Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn Editing by Andrew Hay)