Swiss bank Wegelin to close following guilty plea

City A.M. Reporter
Swiss private bank Wegelin & Co is to close permanently following its guilty plea to helping Americans evade taxes through secret accounts.

Wegelin, the oldest Swiss private bank, will pay $57.8m (£36m) to the US authorities in penalties after it admitted to charges of conspiracy in helping wealthy Americans evade taxes on at least $1.2bn for almost 10 years.

When Wegelin was indicted by US authorities last February, it vowed to resist the charges. The bank, founded in 1741, was declared a fugitive from justice when its Swiss-based executives failed to appear in US court.

The surprise plea effectively ended the US case against Wegelin, one of the most aggressive bank crackdowns in US history.