US Department Of Justice Makes "General Enquiry" Into Pictet's Wealth Business

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 26 November 2012


Pictet & Cie, the Swiss private bank, has said that the US Department of Justice has made a “general inquiry” into its
wealth management business with US clients.

“As is the case wherever we operate, Pictet has made it a
priority to ensure that its business with US clients complies with all the
relevant laws and regulations governing its conduct as part of our professional
responsibility towards our clients, counterparties, supervisors, and the
public,” the bank said in a statement. 

The statement did not elaborate on the exact nature of the US enquiries, nor the precise
nature of any investigation under way. The US Department of Justice could not be reached outside of US business hours for comment at the time of going to press.

Pictet said it will cooperate “as fully as
possible” with the US

"We look forward to demonstrating this commitment to the US Department of Justice and to cooperating as fully as possible with them," Pictet's statement added. 

A number of Swiss banks, led by UBS, the country’s biggest
bank, no longer provide offshore financial services to US citizens. In 2009,
UBS reached settlements over criminal and civil charges that it aided wealthy
Americans to avoid tax; it has also agreed to hand over some client account
details to US
authorities. There have been probes of other foreign banks by the US authorities
as the country seeks to crack down on offshore tax evasion.

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