Goldman and Morgan to open Swiss books for DOJ

The Swiss units of Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) agree to open their books on Swiss accounts set up for U.S. clients, reports the WSJ. In return for entering the so-called "category 2" program, the two won't face prosecution which could have resulted in fines equal to up to 50% of the value of their undeclared accounts.

If it turns out they haven't helped Americans evade taxes, the banks could be downgraded to "category 3," and won't face any penalties.

The DOJ says more than one-third of Swiss banks have committed to category 2. "It's a tricky thing to just say, I'm sure we had nothing," says Martin Naville, CEO of the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce. "Better safe than sorry."

Goldman's Swiss private bank had about $12B in assets under supervision as of the end of 2013, and Morgan's had $50.7B in AUM, though much of that was from branches in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Citigroup and JPMorgan also have Swiss operations, but haven't yet entered any DOJ programs.

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Comments (1)
  • webmind
    , contributor
    Comments (1735) | Send Message
    If the government can prove that money was made in the US and used to evade taxes, then fine. Otherwise, I think the US government should stay out of people's business. We are not indentured slaves. What we do outside the US is none of their business.
    29 Apr 2014, 11:29 AM Reply Like
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