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Bank Leumi hit with $400 million US fine

Bank Leumi has been made to pay the price for aggressively poaching tax cheating clients from Swiss banks that were under United States investigation. The Israeli bank was fined a total of $400 million (CHF393 million) by the US authorities for tax evasion offences. Leumi, that has a private banking arm in Switzerland, was among 14 Swiss or Swiss-based banks under active investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ). Credit Suisse was fined $2.6 billion earlier this year after admitting similar offences, but on a larger scale. Leumi set up various “egregious schemes” designed to help US citizens dodge taxes, including “complex, sham loan arrangements”, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said in a statement. “What’s worse, when certain Swiss banks began to put the brakes on this type of misconduct, Bank Leumi instead hit the accelerator even harder – viewing it as a ‘golden opportunity’ to pick up new business,” ... Show more

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