US hunt for tax dodgers gathers pace

| 28/02/2011

(FT.com): The arrest this month of a prominent Swiss private banker and indictment of four others confirms a new front in Washington’s battle against tax dodgers that the Swiss government hoped would not happen but others recognised as inevitable. Three years after pursuing UBS, the world’s second biggest wealth manager and Switzerland’s biggest bank by assets, the US authorities have turned their attention to Credit Suisse, while still continuing to probe former UBS bankers. The first blow against Credit Suisse appeared to come with the detention of Christos Bagios, head of the bank’s Zurich unit that looks after US clients with declared offshore accounts.

However, well informed people say the 45-year-old Bagios was actually held because of his former UBS job. Before Credit Suisse, Bagios belonged to the now disbanded UBS team whose activities attracted the attention of the US authorities and ultimately spurred criminal and civil proceedings against the bank and a crisis in US-Swiss relations.
 

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