Swiss Bank To Close After US Tax Evasion Fine

Closed Sign

Switzerland's oldest bank, Wegelin & Co, is to close permanently after pleading guilty in a New York court to helping Americans evade their taxes.

BBC News reports that Wegelin, which was established in 1741, has also agreed to pay $57.8m in fines to US authorities.

It said that once this was completed, it 'will cease to operate as a bank'.

The bank had admitted to allowing more than 100 American citizens to hide $1.2bn from the Internal Revenue Service for almost 10 years.

Wegelin, based in the small Swiss town of St Gallen, started in business 35 years before the US declaration of independence.

It becomes the first foreign bank to plead guilty to tax evasion charges in the US.

Other Swiss banks have in recent years moved to prevent U.S. citizens from opening offshore accounts.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: 'The bank wilfully and aggressively jumped in to fill a void that was left when other Swiss banks abandoned the practice due to pressure from US law enforcement'.

Hit the link below to access the complete BBC News article:

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