Swiss bank pays to settle German tax evasion investigation

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Some Germans appear to have used Migros Bank to hide assets from their national tax authorities. © Keystone / Gaétan Bally

Swiss bank Migros has agreed to pay 2.4 million euros (2.65 million francs) to resolve cross-border tax evasion issues with Germany.

This content was published on April 26, 2021 – 9:28 a.m.

swissinfo.ch/mga

Migros is one of several Swiss banks to have imposed a sanction to avoid prosecution in the neighboring country. Other banks that have entered into such a deal in the past include UBS, Credit Suisse and Julius Bär.

Migros Bank’s regulations also protect its employees from lawsuits, it was announced on Monday.

In recent years, the Swiss banking sector has come under the microscope of several countries which discovered that citizens were hiding money in Swiss accounts to avoid paying taxes.

The investigations in Germany were facilitated by the illicit sale of stolen Swiss bank data to several German states.

Banks have generally avoided criminal prosecution by settling complaints out of court. In the United States, the Swiss government was forced to intervene to set up a vast program of out-of-court settlement between the Department of Justice and several Swiss banks.

Despite efforts to clear the list of the Swiss banking sector, tax evasion investigations are still ongoing in some countries. UBS is awaiting a court verdict in France later this year, after appealing a € 4.5 billion tax evasion penalty imposed on the bank in 2019.



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