US taxman goes after clients at another Swiss bank

Retail bank Raiffeisen is to hand over details about its US clients, the latest Swiss-based institution to come under pressure from US authorities determined to enforce tax compliance among wealthy citizens.

Local media and agency reports quoted Raiffeisen spokesman Franz Wuerth saying the bank will “soon shed those American clients who are taxable in the United States”. He said they made up only 0.03% of the bank’s 3.5 million clients.

Co-op, another retail bank, also announced it had stopped doing business with its US clients, according to the French news agency AFP.

US tax officials have been demanding Swiss banks release information about clients who are US nationals. Switzerland and the US have been engaged for some time in talks on how to settle disputes.

Recently, Swiss finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf  authorised Swiss banks to reveal to US authorities the names of their staff working with US clients.

Overall, 11 Swiss or Switzerland-based banks have been targeted including Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, Wegelin, Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB), Basler Kantonalbank (BKB), Neue Zuercher Bank, the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC, Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB), as well as Israel’s Leumi, Hapoalim and Mizrahi banks.

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