Bank Frey Closes its Doors: Are There any Swiss Banks Remaining who will take United States Clients?

Share Article

Kevin E. Thorn of Thorn Law Group discusses the growing impact U.S. investigations of Swiss banks is having on U.S. clients and asks the question “Is it too costly for Swiss and other European banks to keep U.S. accountholders?”

Kevin E. Thorn

"U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts in Switzerland and other countries find themselves in a difficult position when their bank asks them to leave or closes their bank accounts with very little notice

Are there any Swiss Banks remaining that will take United States citizens with European banking needs or for those just seeking the security of a safe bank in Switzerland or other European countries? This is the one question that seems to be coming up again and again in Switzerland and all over Europe. U.S. Taxpayers are now moving their accounts out of Bank Frey at a fast pace, as the Board of Directors of the bank voted to close its doors in the wake of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Bank Frey media release on October 17, 2013. See http://www.bank-frey.com/en-us/aktuell.html. And they are having a difficult time finding new banks to take them as clients, as many Swiss banks not only rejecting new U.S. clients, but they are also asking longtime U.S. accountholders to leave.

As the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service continue to gather information on Swiss banks, U.S. citizens must be careful not to open new accounts at banks currently under investigation or they may find themselves back where they started, without accounts. Bank Frey is just the latest of the Swiss banks to close because of increased pressure from the United States, Swiss bank Weglin also closed its doors at the beginning of this year following a Department of Justice investigation. Wegelin & Co. Media Release, January 3, 2013, http://www.wegelin.ch/documents/20130103_MediaRelease_AgreementwithUSauthorities.pdf. But where, and if, United States citizens can find other Swiss banks that will allow them to open new accounts takes research and connections with the right legal professionals.

Kevin E .Thorn, who maintains connections with many Swiss banking professionals, is the Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, a Washington, DC law firm that represents numerous U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed offshore bank accounts around the world. Many of his clients are participating in the 2009, 2011, and 2012 IRS Amnesty Programs, and he states, "U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts in Switzerland and other countries find themselves in a difficult position when their bank asks them to leave or closes their bank accounts with very little notice, and then they find out other Swiss banks will not let them open accounts.”

Adding to the pressure on Swiss banks and their U.S. accountholders, the IRS and the Department of Justice have been receiving help from the courts with the grant and execution of “John Doe” Summonses, which order banks to produce their records containing U.S. taxpayer information. “John Doe” Summonses were successfully served on HSBC in 2011, and again, more recently on U.S. banks including, Citibank NA, Bank of New York Mellon, and JPMorgan Chase Bank for their involvement with foreign banks. November 11, 2013. Order Granting Ex Parte Petition For Leave To Serve “John Doe” Summons, Nov. 12, 2013, http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/November13/JohnDoeSummonsesPR/Butterfield%20Order.pdf

Mr. Thorn explains, “The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service will continue to put pressure on all foreign banks, and now on U.S banks with connections to foreign banks through the use of “John Doe” Summonses in order to bring United States taxpayers back into compliance. The only solution I see for U.S. individuals with undisclosed bank accounts is to enter into the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program.” Mr. Thorn advises U.S. persons to enter the voluntary disclosure program and “come into compliance or risk criminal prosecution and potentially devastating monetary penalties.”

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group at 202-270-7273 or visit us at http://www.thorntaxlaw.com/.
About Thorn Law Group, PLLC: Thorn Law Group, PLLC is a law firm dedicated to helping clients resolve complicated tax, criminal tax, and international tax problems.

Contact:
Kevin E. Thorn
Managing Partner Thorn Law Group, PLLC
202-270-7273
http://www.thorntaxlaw.com/

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kevin Thorn
Thorn Law Group
+1 (202) 957-6042
Email >

Kevin E. Thorn
Visit website