Rejecting US threats, the National Counsil tossed “Lex USA”. The big question now is if the US will follow through with its threats of destroying 18 banks, and how many innocent people will be harmed in the process. Yesterday, Postfinance expressed great fear that it might be the target of US wrath since it is one of the last banks which still accepts US clients living in Switzerland. My best guess is that the US needs to use Switzerland as a scape goat to scare the world into joining FATCA, since FATCA would otherwise fail.
The general view in Switzerland seems to be that if some banks did wrong, then they should be held responsible for their actions without the parliament being involved, while those in favor of Lex USA generally feared the American blackmail.
A lot of commentary that I have read so far in the US seemed to lean more in favor of Switzerland. There were a few calls for war, kicking Swiss out of the US or prohibiting Americans living in Switzerland from having a local bank account, but otherwise many individuals showed an interested in respecting personal privacy and resisting foreign powers.
The votes can be seen here.
This new American chocolate which does not melt is a bit like #LexUSA, containing inside secret materials.
— Marie P Bender (@mariebender) June 19, 2013
I see your comment was called out.
“Swiss Life chooses “FATCA Profiler” to accomplish the requirements of FATCA.”
At least SwissBytes is a Swiss company.
@Just Me, yes, and yours too as well as two others. Thanks! Maybe I was a bit harsh on that tax gal.
Swiss court stops handover of Credit Suisse employee’s data to U.S.
(Reuters) – A Swiss court has ordered an injunction halting the transfer of a former Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) employee’s data to U.S. tax authorities, a lawyer involved in the case said on Tuesday.
The ruling highlights Switzerland’s difficulties in balancing traditions of personal privacy against the United States’ demands for data from roughly a dozen Swiss banks under formal investigation by U.S. prosecutors.
Just a member of the FATCA Compliance Industrial Complex selling their products by Press Releases designed to look like news. Making money off U.S. Person round up.
I would love to know if any of those 4,000 names that UBS handed over were actually fined/convicted of any tax wrong-doing.
That, and how successful the 2011 OVDI really is, with so many being moved to Streamlined.
@Medea Fleecestealer, about 50. Here’s the list:
Of the 50, 39 were UBS clients and all of them lived in the USA. The other 11 or so convicted were UBS employees.
So we’re suffering problems with Swiss banks because the IRS couldn’t be bothered to request the info on the 39 via the normal channels. Great.
And isn’t ironic that all those convicted are “homelanders” and not us “traitorous” US citizens who happen to live outside the US. Perhaps this should be pointed out to Schumer/Casey/Reed and others of their ilk.
@Medea Fleecestealer, pointing out that witches are not witches won’t do any good. People who seek to burn the witches will burn the guilty before they are proven to be innocent ashes.
Info on the possible next step:
Swiss Offer Plan to Solve Dispute Over Data on U.S. Tax Evaders
US media is always very different from Swiss media, as expected. Here is what Swiss media writes on the issue:
The Federal Council can only promise the US government what it can actually deliver… without a legal basis, the way Lex USA is presented, Switzerland cannot give the US any guarantees on the delivery of bank data… “I call this blackmail. Switzerland is a constitutional nation with a seperation of powers. America should know this too. After all, our constitution was inspired by the US constituation, Furthermore, the world police, USA, should respect a democratic nation”
USA wants guarantees and even a guillotine clause… for legal experts, this is unacceptable… such clauses or conditions are highly unusual, especially between constituational states which are based in principle on the same legal basis. “I’ve never heard of a similar case like this before”…. Such demands from the US are neither politically nor legally acceptable…. such demands are unacceptable under constituational law and not in compliance with the human rights convention.
SwissPinoy if the US Congress is stupid enough to think that having to pass a bill before they find out what’s in it is normal, then I pity them. The rest of the world likes to work on much clearer information than that. Expecting that the Swiss government could pass something which contained lots of confidential info that they wouldn’t find out about until the bill’s approval is just ridiculous. No wonder the US is in such a mess if that’s how they run the government. It’s like saying you must agree to this contract of employment, but we’re not going to tell you anything about it’s conditions except for the salary you’ll be paid. I mean, would you agree to sign something like that? No way! To expect the Swiss government to do so when it’s even more answerable to its people than the US will ever be just beggars belief.
@Medea Fleecestealer, indeed. more and more, my US teasing of “the demorepublican dictatorship” seems to be gaining more credibility than I would want to believe.
But passing a bill to find out what is in it, is SOP in Congress. I just learned that lesson trying to understand if the Reed Amendment made it into the Immigration Act. Nancy Pelosi was more right than she was wrong. 🙂
Liechtenstein Bank Pays $23.8M To IRS For Helping Americans Evade Taxes
The Department of Justice (DOJ), IRS and U.S. Attorney have announced another huge victory in their all-out war on tax evasion. Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG—LLB for short—will pay $23.8M to the feds but avoid prosecution.
According to the deal, LLB won’t face prosecution for a 10 year stretch of keeping secret accounts for U.S. taxpayers from 2001 through 2011.
See DOJ Press Release.
Thanks for posting the article on Liechtensteinische Landesbank settlement. Two comments:
1) LLB Schweiz, which is a separate legal entity, is still in the cross-hairs of DOJ, according to a Swiss newspaper report today, i.e., it’s not all over for LLB.
2) LLB is similar to many Swiss cantonal banks and German Landesbanken in that LLB is government owned, with approx. 50% owned by the government of Liechtenstein and the rest floated. Similar to LLB Schweiz, DOJ has its sights on at least two Swiss cantonal banks, Zürich Kantonalbank and Basel Kantonalbank, for taking tainted USC funds from UBS in 2009. These two banks are 100% government owned.
Enjoyed placing of this news article under a Switzerland heading. Liechtenstein is, of course, a separate country bordering Switzerland and Austria with close ties to Switzerland including a customs union. As a Swiss explained to me once, “Liechtenstein is a Swiss canton, but with prince.”