Program for Swiss Banks with U.S. Person Accounts Announced

September, 2013

On August 29, in a Joint Statement, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Swiss Federal Department of Finance announced a Program for Non Target Letters for Swiss Banks that are not currently the subject of a formal criminal investigation by the DOJ (the “Program”). 

The Program delineates three categories of banks capable of par Category 2 banks are those that have “reason to believe offense[]” and are thus requesting a tax-related offenses” under certain US laws and are requesting are those that are a “Deemed Compliant Financial Institution” as a “Financial Institution with Local Client Base” under FACTA – an agreement between the US and Switzerland letter-and are requesting a Non-Target letter.

Each request category has specific prerequisites and to be eligible to participate in the Program should review the Protocol for their specific class carefully but a general overview of the Common to all classes is the requirement that the bank: 1) include a plan for complying with requirements set forth in its specific category; 2) provide the identity and Independent Examiner; 3) maintain certain records for compliance with the Program; and 4) agree not to assert certain Statute of Limitations defenses that may become available between August 29 the date the NPA/Non-Target letter is signed. 

In addition to meeting the general requirements, Category 2 banks must also provide information about the structure of the bank’s cross information about the value and history of client acco Independent Examiner, and pay a penalty based on a three tiered schedule. Category 3 banks must satisfy the general requirements and retain an Independent Examiner to conduct an internal investigation to determine the scope of U.S. related accounts at the bank, verify the adequacy of the bank’s compliance program, and prepare a report to the DOJ detailing certain facets of the Independent Examiner’s investigation. Category 4 banks must satisfy the general requirem verification of its Class 4 status executed by the bank and the Independent Examiner to the DOJ, and agree to maintain certain records. 

The Program describes the “Independent Examiner” as “a qualified independent attorney or accountant.” The Program grants the DOJ’s Tax Division “the right to object to a particular attorney or accountant” but otherwise does not describe the Independent Examiner approval process. 

The DOJ’s press release announcing the be found at: 

Independent Consultants for the Protocol Murphy & McGonigle’s partners have been selected to serve as independent consultant monitors of financial institutions on In the area covered by the Program the DOJ and the U.S. Securities and Ex Monitors/Consultants for a global financial services firm with headquarters in Europe to assure that it and its affiliated entities had exited the U.S. brokerage and investment advisory businesses unless business was being conducted through an appropriate SEC This engagement was a complex matter accounting firm consultants. The engagement businesses and an examination of tens of global offices - in the U.S., Europe, Asia, This engagement required the preparation of investment bank -- two (2) during the pendency of the engagement and one Final Report at the conclusion of the Review. In the Final Report the Independent Consultant to the investment bank’s compliance with its undertakings under its U.S. settlements. 

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