Swiss politicians and regulators are eager to help with on the U.S. tax evasion crackdown. Things will get interesting as the new point person for the Swiss heads to Washington D.C. for his first chat with law enforcement officials.
The Swiss Department of Finance announced on Monday that Jacques de Watteville, the recent head of the State for International Financial Matters, will be in Washington through Wednesday to meet with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and other U.S. officials. The meetings come only a week prior to the DOJ program's deadline designed to encourage Swiss banks to step forward and expose American tax evaders.
Many in Switzerland oppose the program claiming that it is designed to squeeze as much as possible out of the Swiss financial sector while levying heavy fines on banks that will need to hire lawyers and accountants in order to figure out just how much trouble they will face should they enroll in the program. This leaves many wondering how many banks will attempt to dodge the program entirely, with the hopes that U.S. authorities don't come knocking.
The CEO of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority has little sympathy for banks that would attempt to evade the program saying that they would be "ill-advised to hope for future inaction on the part of the U.S. Department of Justice."