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Secretive U.S. bank deal alarms Swiss parliamentarians

Swiss pedestrians walk past an embossed bank sign in Zurich, on October 13, 2012. (AFP)Raw Story – by Agence France-Presse

A secretive deal aimed at settling a dispute with Washington over Swiss banks’ alleged complicity in tax evasion by Americans has caused uproar in the wealthy Alpine nation.

Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf announced a deal last week that she said would put an end to the row that has been poisoning relations between Switzerland and the United States for years.  

However, she acknowledged, the settlement was not a negotiated agreement but a “unilateral offer” from Washington, and due to a confidentiality clause, no details of the deal could be divulged until parliament had given it its blessing.

She urged parliament, which has no power to amend the agreement, to urgently debate the issue, stressing the importance of the deal taking effect by July 1.

Swiss parliamentarians however balked at the idea of discussing the issue without knowing what conditions were attached, and on Wednesday, the National Council, or the lower house of parliament, voted to freeze its handling of the deal until it had more information.

“We understand that the National Council is demanding more information about the offer from the US authorities,” the Swiss Bankers Association told AFP in an email.

But, stressed the group which represents nearly 350 banks and financial institutions, “it is important for the banks to have a legal basis before they act.”

Washington has repeatedly accused Swiss banks of complicity in tax evasion, since they hold billions of dollars belonging to American citizens that are not declared to US tax authorities.

The controversial deal would enable Swiss banks to circumvent some elements of the country’s cherished bank secrecy laws and turn over key information to US authorities.

How much the banks will have to pay to win legal closure is not yet known, but Swiss media have reported that the overall figure could hit 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.5 billion, 8.0 billion euros).

Despite the expected sting, the head of the Swiss Bankers Association’s executive committee, Claude-Alain Margelisch, cautioned at a seminar this week that Swiss banks likely had no choice but to bow to the US demands.

US tax authorities now have access to some 30,000 new declarations from US citizens on their holdings in Switzerland, and he warned some might be tempted to push the blame for lacking past filings onto their Swiss bank, he warned.

“We need to find a solution for the (bankers) who acted correctly,” he said, stressing the need to clearly distinguish between establishments that had acted inappropriately and those that had not.

The head of Geneva private bank Pictet, one of 14 Swiss banks under Washington’s magnifying glass, also insisted Friday that “a quick solution is necessary”.

The bank did not want “to put off resolving this problem indefinitely,” Nicolas Pictet told the bankers association’s annual general assembly.

Without the deal, banks with nothing to hide would not have a legal basis allowing them to prove their innocence to US authorities, Margelisch said.

He warned that without the deal “the Americans will be able to continue to threaten our banks in a completely arbitrary manner.”

Other participants at the seminar also pleaded for Switzerland to plunge in and accept the deal despite the blindfold, stressing that the banks had to swallow their bitter medicine if they wanted to avoid risking even more pain.

With no official details leaking out, the deal is the subject of frenzied speculation in the Swiss press.

According to Neue Zurcher Zeitung, unpleasant surprises could be in store, especially for the cantonal banks — there is one in each of Switzerland’s 24 cantons — which enjoy a government guarantee scheme.

“Ten to 15 of them apparently handled US undeclared funds in considerable proportions,” the daily wrote in on Sunday.

With a deal, Swiss financial institutions could find themselves in the bull’s eye of US criminal prosecution, experts warn.

As a sign of the growing concern about the deal, Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger published an article speculating on what repercussions there might be for banks facing criminal charges in the United States.

Experts quoted by the paper said such institutions would be cut off from clearing in dollars, the cornerstone of the global financial market.

“When a Swiss bank is charged in the United States, it is dead,” Margelisch said during a televised debate late last week.

Case in point, last January, Switzerland’s oldest wealth management institution, Wegelin & Co, was forced to close up shop after it was found guilty of helping US citizens dodge their taxes at home.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/09/secretive-u-s-bank-deal-alarms-swiss-parliamentarians/

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4 Responses to Secretive U.S. bank deal alarms Swiss parliamentarians

  1. Jolly Roger says:

    This is just a bankrupted government trying to steal every last dollar they can. Pensions, bank accounts, Swiss bank accounts…. basically whatever they can grab for as long as they can get away with it. They’re just criminals and tyrants, and nothing more.

    If Russia were to nuke Washington D.C., I think we should let ‘em get away with it, and possibly even send them a thank you note.

  2. jack loach says:

    Update — June 16th .2013.

    Pictet & Cie Bank —- List of Crimes.

    1996 —– F.S.A— Breach in London.

    2003 —– F.S.A. — States rogues operating in Pictet’s London office. Ivan Pictet
    states that documents were forgeries but were later proved to be genuine in
    the British Courts. He had documents destroyed in their London office –
    hoping to hide the crimes.

    2007 .- – - The Securities and Exchange Surveillance issued a recommendation
    that the Prime Minister and The Commissioner of the FSA to take disciplinary action against Pictet Asset Management – Japan Ltd.

    2008 .– Dec. – Pictet Bank state – ” We have never chosen any funds linked to Madoff.

    2011 – - – Madoff Trustees sue Pictet & Cie. Bank for $156 Million.

    2011- – - Pictet & Cie Bank abetted a Bribery Scheme – Oil company sues Pictet for $350Million

    2012 – - – April – Geneva Bank Pictet used in Offshore Tax Scheme. ( USA.)

    2012 — – June. — Published in Anglo INFO .Geneva.— USA Trust Fund Investors were sent false and fraudulent documents by Pictet Bank in order to collect large fees. ( Like MADOFF)
    Even after the SEC in the USA uncovered the fraud Pictet continued to charge fees and drain whatever was left in these accounts. Estimated that $90 million lost in this Pictet Ponzi scheme.

    2012 – - – July. — De – Spiegel. — states – Pictet Bank uses a letterbox company in
    Panama and a tax loophole involving investments in London to gain
    German millionaires as clients.

    2012 – - – August —- German Opposition Leader accuses Swiss Banks of “organised crime.”

    2013 — Jan.— Swiss MP’ table motion to freeze Tiab Mahmud’s assets of ” criminal origins”
    held in Swiss banks – $18 million held in 5 accounts at Pictet & Cie. Bank. Bahamas.

    Ironically the Pictet & Cie.Bank partners are bigger criminals than the criminals who have accounts in the their bank.

    The bank is now seeking to re-structure — to cut the partners liability – hoping to off load their decades of criminal responsibilty – and move onwards to carry out new crimes. The Germans are right — the bankers should go to prison if found guilty of financial crimes..

    Both Ivan Pictet and Monty Raphael.Q.C. conspired to withhold crucial documents requested by the High Court – the FSA — and the Police Fraud Squad.

    Written Parliamentary Questions received by the table office ..

    (1) To ask the secretary of state what steps he is taking to ensure that Swiss Banks such as Pictet & Cie do not evade criminal prosecution under EU law even when the illegal act is committed by a London based subsidiary.

    (2)To ask the secretary of state what steps he is taking to protect the rights of UK citizens who seek redress following criminal activities by Swiss banks with subsidiary offices located in London.

    Quote. ( America’s Top Lawyer .)
    You can be the richest man in the world with the best lawyers that money can buy but you cannot win against a man who has got nothing left to lose and is telling the truth.

    *** We note that there has been a sharp increase in Peters & Peters partners leaving to go to other practices. Moving does not alleviate them of any responsibility from any illegalities that may have occurred at Peters & Peters during their partnership tenure. From 1999 onwards.

    The consensus of opinion is the Pictet & Cie should be prosecuted , and that their U.K. banking licence should be taken away.

    Their Solicitors at Peters & Peters .London “ struck off and prosecuted..”

    *** Started campaign — June 6th.2008.
    5years —- approx 10 .5 million e-mails – - – but still no writs, injunctions or threats of litigation – – - WHY – - – because it is all true.

    *** . The bigger they are — the harder they fall.!!!
    In America —- they would have all been in prison for the last seven years.

    Feb 2013,— Pictet & Cie Bank Partners remove their unlimited liability.
    They realise that all their personal wealth is at risk , the people they have conned might want their money back.

    Full Story.***
    . ” Google ” or ” Yahoo” .

    Insert– ( Charles Pictet. Banker.
    Insert– ( Ivan Pictet.Banker.
    Insert– ( Jacques de Saussure.Banker.
    Insert– ( Nicolas Pictet. Banker.
    Insert– ( Jean-Francois Demole.Banker.
    Insert — ( Philippe Bertherat. Banker.
    Insert– ( Renaud de Planta. Banker.

    Update. June15th. 2013.

    Over the last two years we posted the following on hundreds of sites . —

    *** Were currently waiting for the West Yorkshire Police ;-
    (1) Chief Constable . Sir Norman Bettison
    (2) Forces Solicitor. Mike Percival.
    (3) Head of Economic Crime Unit. Det Chief Inspector. Steven Taylor.

    to see if they continue to cover up this case like the FSA. – “ watch this space.”

    **** We can now state that all the above have been removed from their posts. All three facing criminal allegations.

  3. jack loach says:

    Sods —– Law.
    December.—- 2013.

    For almost two decades we have strived to get justice for the injustice we have suffered at the hands of a world renowned bank— PICTET & CIE. BANK.

    Two yorkshiremen both running their own small family businesses trying to resolve the problem by taking all the correct legal procedures to recover their monies.

    The matter was raised in Parliament – twice– the FSA investigated the matter concluding that PICTET had rogues operating in their London Bank — but the rogues had left —saying no one left to prosecute.??? —– so there.

    We then approached the Financial Ombudsman Service. (FOS) — our case was dealt with by seven different people —- then our numerous E-Mails were ignored — nobody would speak to us ——-so there.

    We then asked the SFO ( Serious Fraud Office.) to investigate our case —- the criteria of our case ticked all their boxes. — we were instructed not to send them any documents/evidence.—— in fact they wrote to us advising us to go to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.(CAB.)

    Richard Alderman the SFO boss —- who responded to our letter was the same man who would not investigate the “ Madoff” scandal or the “Libor” fiasco.
    The MP’s committee —- said he was sloppy— and the SFO was run like “ Fred Karno’s Circus” ——- so there.

    Our M.P. approached our local Chief Constable to investigate—– he was called—- Sir Norman Bettison— Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police —- a force that made “ Dad’s Army” look like the S.A.S. They were inept – corrupt —malicious — from top to bottom. We were criminally dealt with by the Forces Solicitor—- the Head of the Economic Crime Unit —-and the Chief Constable —– so there.

    We were then advised to pass our complaint against West Yorkshire Police to the I.P.C.C. – which we did — they advised us to make our complaint to —- the West Yorkshire Police — we did with reluctance — all we got was abuse and obfuscation. —– so there.

    Sir Norman Bettison —- The Forces solicitor— and the Head of the Economic Crime —- have all been removed from their posts and facing criminal allegations.
    —— so there.

    We even sought justice through the Courts — culminating in a visit to the Court of Appeal-London.— On leaving the Courts of Appeal that day our barrister a “rising star” informed us — that if that was Justice then you can keep it. He quit the law and moved to Canada —– so there.

    A few years later we learned that one of the judges in our case at the Court of Appeal was related to a senior executive of the Pictet Bank —–so there.

    Pictet & Cie .Bank — voted private bank of the year 2013.
    Ivan Pictet —- Voted banker of the year 2012. —- the senior partner — lied on numerous occasions and had documents destroyed — also said genuine documents were forgeries. —– so there.

    Ivan Pictet in Oct. 2013 —- Given the Legion of Honour — but saying that —- honours were given to Hitler — Eichmann — Mussolini —Franco — he’s in fitting company. —-so there.

    MONTY RAPHAEL.Q.C. — Peters & Peters.London. They were the banks lawyers.
    Monty Raphael.Q.C. along with Ivan Pictet withheld crucial documents requested by the High Court —- the FSA —- and the police Fraud Squad. —-so there.

    Monty Raphael.Q.C. became an Honorary Queens Counsellor in March. 2012.
    Monty Raphael.Q.C. became a Master of the Bench in Nov.2012.
    An expert in Fraud —the Doyen of Fraud Lawyers. —– so there.

    This says a lot about Banks — the consensus of opinion is that they are highly paid “crooks” —- no wonder they voted Ivan Pictet banker of the year.

    Full Story.—- “google or Yahoo”

    Insert.

    Ivan Pictet.Banker.
    Monty Raphael.Q.C.
    Ivan Pictet/Monty Raphael.

  4. jack loach says:

    Swiss Bank Accounts. 2014.

    Is your monies safe in these accounts —- definitely NOT.
    Would you get your money back if every body decided to withdraw all their accounts – NO WAY.
    Economic Experts say that there would only enough money to repay 50% of their clients.
    Are you going to be in the 50% — that loose your money.– Get it out NOW.

    2012 — – June. — Published in Anglo INFO .Geneva.— USA Trust Fund Investors were sent false and fraudulent documents by Pictet Bank.Switzerland. in order to collect large fees. ( Like MADOFF) —Even after the SEC in the USA uncovered the fraud Pictet continued to charge fees and drain whatever was left in these accounts. Estimated that $90,000,000 million lost in this Pictet Ponzi scheme.

    2012 – - – July. — De – Spiegel. — states – Pictet Bank uses a letterbox company in
    Panama and a tax loophole involving investments in London to gain
    German millionaires as clients.

    2012 – - – August —- German Opposition Leader accuses Swiss Banks of “organised crime.”

    All the fines that crooked Swiss banks have incurred in the last few years exceeds £75.Billion.
    It is also calculated that the secrecy ” agreements” with regards to tax evation by their clients will cost the banks another £450 Billion.( paid out of your monies.)

    The banks are panicking — the are quickly restructuring their banks —- from partnerships –
    to ” LIMITED COMPANIES.” —– this will probably mean that in the future — they could
    pay you only 10% of your monies ” if you are one of the lucky ones” —- and it be legal.

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