Swiss Bankers Are Afraid To Leave Switzerland

Swiss Bankers Are Afraid To Leave Switzerland

For many Swiss bankers, taking vacation out of the country is just too risky.

As the U.S. cracks down on Swiss bank accounts and U.S. tax dodgers, even mid-level Swiss bankers fear arrest and extradition on charges of aiding tax evaders, Reuters reports.

One Swiss banker was reportedly so worried about crossing the border to buy groceries in France that he called an advice hotline, Reuters reports.

The U.S. is investigating 11 Swiss banks, including Credit Suisse, for allegedly helping Americans evade taxes, according to Reuters. The U.S. indicted four Credit Suisse bankers last year for helping Americans hide billions from the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. has also sued Wegelin & Co., Switzerland's oldest private bank, for allegedly hiding more than $1.2 billion in assets from the IRS, according to Reuters.

It is not just the Swiss bankers that have reason to worry. The U.S. is also going after Americans suspected of hiding their assets abroad by issuing subpoenas, according to a separate Reuters report.

Switzerland is trying to persuade the U.S. to just fine the banks and take the names of U.S. clients, while dropping the probes and not prosecuting Switzerland's 300 other banks, according to Reuters.

So perhaps Swiss bankers won't have to put off vacation for much longer. Their finance minister recently said that he expects a deal with the U.S. to be finalized before the U.S. presidential election.

In the meantime, Swiss bankers have an advice hotline to call for advice about how to cope with the tax evasion crackdown, according to the Associated Press.

Apparently, the hotline is very popular.

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