Offshore

Lombard Odier Signs Up To US-Swiss Tax Program

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, January 7, 2014

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Lombard Odier is another Swiss bank choosing take part in the US-Swiss agreement over tax, choosing to do so as a “category 2” bank where there is some risk that US authorities might find examples of tax evasion by American clients.

Lombard Odier is yet another Swiss bank choosing take part in the US-Swiss agreement over tax, choosing to do so as a “category 2” bank where there is some risk that US authorities might find examples of tax evasion by American clients.

One of Switzerland’s oldest private banks, Lombard Odier said it reserved the right to choose to enter the program as a “category 3” bank; that category opens in the summer of this year. There are a number of different categories that firms can state they fall into, depending on whether they think they have violated laws about helping US tax evaders, or not.

(A category 3 bank, by definition, has not committed any US tax-related offenses and is exempt from having to pay penalties.)

A number of banks, such as Vontobel, Banque Cantonale Vaudoise and St Galler Kantonalbank, have signed up to the US-Swiss pact, framed by the US Department of Justice and signed between Switzerland and the US in August.

“The bank has taken the necessary measures to implement the US program. American clients have never been a target market for Lombard Odier and the bank has had in place a strict policy concerning them for many years,” Lombard Odier said in its statement a few days ago. “In light of these facts and its solidity, the Bank is confident that it is well prepared to address the next steps,” the bank said.

Lonbard Odier had SFr203 billion ($224.3 billion) of client assets at the end of September last year, of which assets under management amounted to SFr174 billion.

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