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Tax agreement Migros, Graubünden banks pay US settlement fines

Migros Bank will pay $15 million in fines to US justice authorities

(Keystone)

Two more banks have reached settlements with United States authorities over tax evasion. The Migros Bank and the Cantonal Bank of Graubünden are the latest to pay million-dollar fines for hiding American assets, according to US justice authorities.

Migros Bank will pay a fine of $15 million (CHF14.6 million) while the Graubünden bank will pay $3.6 million. The former bank had held 898 accounts for customers with ties to the US, for a total of $273 million in assets. The latter had 374 American-tied accounts with a total of $105.5 million in assets. American authorities said that both banks could have avoided the fines if they had encouraged their customers to declare their assets in the United States.

The banks were fined under a programme agreed upon with US justice authorities, wherein Swiss banks that had ties to American banks were placed in a category according to their asset exposure and assessed a one-time fine.

So far, 39 banks in the so-called “category two” level of asset exposure – Migros Bank and the Cantonal Bank of Graubünden among them – have reached such agreements with United States officials.

Both banks said on Friday that the fines will not affect their financial performance for 2015, as they had made provisions for such fines in 2013.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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