Swiss Bank Julius Baer says deal fi­nal­ized on tax-dodg­ing

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Swiss pri­vate bank Julius Baer said Fri­day it had fi­nalised an agree­ment with US au­thor­i­ties, pay­ing $547 mil­lion to end a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into claims that it helped rich Amer­i­cans dodge taxes.

"Be­ing able to close this re­gret­table legacy is­sue is an im­por­tant mile­stone for Julius Baer," chief ex­ec­u­tive Boris Col­lardi said in a state­ment.

"The set­tle­ment ends a long pe­riod of un­cer­tainty for us and ... al­lows us now to again fully fo­cus on the fu­ture and our busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties," he added. The bank had al­ready fully booked pro­vi­sions for the fine, which sent its 2015 net profit down by 67 per­cent to 121.2 mil­lion Swiss francs (109 mil­lion euros, $122 mil­lion) last year.

If it hadn't had to book the pro­vi­sion for the US fine, Julius Baer said prof­its would have grown last year by a fifth to just over 700 mil­lion Swiss francs. Julius Baer was among around a dozen Swiss banks placed un­der crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the US Jus­tice Depart­ment, in­clud­ing the coun­try's se­cond largest bank Credit Suisse, which was slapped with a $ 2.8- bil­lion fine.

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