German clients of a Swiss branch of the Israeli Bank Leumi are under scrutiny from German tax authorities, after the purchase of a new CD containing private account details. The CD was bought by investigators in North Rhine-Westphalia in late autumn, 2013.
The bank has confirmed a report in Der Spiegel magazine that investigators are making formal inquiries into allegedly secret accounts at Israel’s second biggest bank.
The tax CD is thought to contain names and account information on more than 100 German clients. It is also thought the account amounts in question are much higher than on previous CDs and that the list contains the names of some prominent people.
In December around 11 agents spent a week searching the private apartments of roughly 50 clients of the bank.
The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has already bought four similar CDs since 2010.
Their purchase led to a tripling in the number of amended tax returns made by Germans last year, according to media reports.
Bank Leumi is also in the company of ten other Swiss banks in the first category of the US tax programme, meaning it is already under active investigation for suspected tax evasion offences.
swissinfo.ch and agencies