Swiss bank Wegelin to close after US tax evasion fine
Wegelin admitted that its actions had been "wrong"
Switzerland's oldest bank
is to close permanently after pleading guilty in a New York court to
helping Americans evade their taxes.
Wegelin, which was established in 1741, has also agreed to pay $57.8m (£36m; 44m euros) in fines to US authorities.
It said that once this was completed, it "will cease to operate as a bank".
The bank had admitted to allowing more than 100 American
citizens to hide $1.2bn from the Internal Revenue Service for almost 10
Wegelin, based in the small Swiss town of St Gallen, started in business 35 years before the US declaration of independence.
It becomes the first foreign bank to plead guilty to tax evasion charges in the US.
Other Swiss banks have in recent years moved to prevent US citizens from opening offshore accounts.
US Attorney Preet Bharara said: "The bank wilfully and aggressively
jumped in to fill a void that was left when other Swiss banks abandoned
the practice due to pressure from US law enforcement."...MORE