With Tax Accord in Place, Swiss Banks Still Face Costly Legal Slog

By Colby Adams

A U.S.-Swiss plan to resolve a tax evasion dispute may absolve Switzerland's government from further action but will prove costly and time-consuming for participating banks, say attorneys. On Thursday, the two governments published joint statements outlining a voluntary program that Swiss banks can enter to shield themselves from U.S. prosecutors. Under the plan, participating financial institutions that held accounts for American tax evaders would pay hefty monetary penalties and turn over data on clients, employees and cross-border transactions. In addition to disclosing the names of relevant relationship managers, client advisors, attorneys, fiduciaries and other individuals, financial institutions seeking to enter...