Zurich-based Neue Privat Bank (NPB) has agreed to pay a $5 million (CHF 5 million) fine to the US Department of Justice to avoid prosecution for tax reporting violations.
A document published by the Department of Justice said that NPB's cross-border banking business assisted US clients in 'opening and maintaining undeclared accounts in Switzerland and concealing the assets and income they held in these accounts from the US government.'
It continues: 'NPB offered a variety of traditional Swiss banking services that it knew could assist, and did in fact assist, US clients in the concealment of assets and income from the IRS, including the use of numbered accounts and hold mail services.'
The document also notes that NPB had few US clients prior to 2009, holding approximately CHF 8 million in AUM in 2008. However, by the end of 2009, NPB had approximately CHF 450 million in AUM in US-related accounts.
According to the terms of the agreement signed, NPB must also co-operate in any related criminal or civil proceeidngs and show evidence of halting misconduct involving undeclared US accounts.
Neue Privat Bank was founded in 2001 as an asset management bank. It has CHF 1.29 billion in AUM and is a member of the Swiss Bankers Association.