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Old 16.05.2012, 14:30
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Swiss bank Wegelin, accused by US authorities of conspiring to help clients escape tax payments, has once again refused to appear before a US court claiming on Wednesday the summons was "invalid."

Read the full article: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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Old 04.01.2013, 13:54
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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Switzerland's oldest bank is to close permanently after pleading guilty in a New York court to helping Americans evade their taxes.

Wegelin, which was established in 1741, has also agreed to pay $57.8m (£36m; 44m euros) in fines to US authorities.

It said that once this was completed, it "will cease to operate as a bank".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20907359
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Old 04.01.2013, 14:16
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

Any word on why they chose to reverse course and just plead and pay (and go completely out of business)? Seems really strange.
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Old 04.01.2013, 14:27
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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Any word on why they chose to reverse course and just plead and pay (and go completely out of business)? Seems really strange.
Spend a lot of money fighting something that they're likely to lose given the Swiss government's tendency to do whatever the Americans want lately, while at the same time losing the ability to invest in American markets (e.g. their public FATCA stance), or... pay a small fine and take the rest of the money and run.

Seems like a smart, if regrettable, decision to me.
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Old 04.01.2013, 14:28
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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Any word on why they chose to reverse course and just plead and pay (and go completely out of business)? Seems really strange.
All the non-US business of Wegelin has been sold to Reiffeisen quite some time ago. Wegelin only kept the US customer with the purpose to deal with the allegation. If I rembember correctly than the partners of Wegelin are privately liable. Thus they may have an interest in settling the matter.
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Old 04.01.2013, 15:13
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

A general sort of prediction for 2013 concerning banks:

With so many banks in trouble this year could be the year when internationally - and in Switzerland - a number of big banks have Lehman-style crashes?
Rumours are still circulating that thousands of tons of customers' gold have been removed from allocated accounts in various countries and were last seen heading east.

According to Jim Willie:
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◄$$$ A CRITICAL SLAM ON PERTH MINT AS A BAD PLAYER. THE TARNISH ON THEIR IMAGE IS STICKING AFTER A STEADY STREAM OF NEGATIVE REPORTS. THE PERTH MINT IS ILLICITLY USING CLIENT GOLD BARS, REPLACING THEM WITH GOLD CERTIFICATES, JUST LIKE THE CRIMINAL BIG BANKS IN THE WESTERN FINANCIAL CENTERS. $$$
Dave in Denver wrote a negative account against Perth Mint, actually a story passed along from a person with direct contact. He made reference to the TFMetals website, where the Jackass has done interviews. Dave wrote, "I just received an email from someone who read my write-up. He told me about an incident involving the Perth Mint and its custodial services. He wants to remain anonymous because of Perth Mint's reputation for being about the nastiest and most litigious people on the planet (in his words).
An investment group who manages bullion positions for some very large holders was given the management responsibilities for a very large bullion account that was being held at the Perth Mint. When this group informed the Perth Mint about this and was told to hand custody of the account over, the Perth Mint sent the new management group allocated Perth Mint certificates in lieu of shipping them the bullion. The group ordered the Perth Mint to have the bullion on the ramp and ready for shipping within 72 hours. The Mint claimed that was not possible and could not honor that request. The new group threatened to go public with this incident if the bullion was not provided as soon as possible. Apparently the Perth Mint actually had to produce new bullion in order to fulfill the legal demand and avoid public exposure of this incident. He also told me that this same management group has had similar incidents with supposedly vaulted Gold at a number of Swiss Banks over the past few years. We are talking 400-oz bullion bars, not minted coins or 100-oz COMEX bars. This person's final comment was, 'I GET SICK OF READING HOW RIGHTEOUS AND SELF-AGGRANDIZING THESE SCUMBAGS ARE AT THE PERTH MINT. THESE CLOWNS HAVE MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE OF SKELETONS HIDDEN IN THEIR OWN CLOSETS.' "
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Old 04.01.2013, 16:53
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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All the non-US business of Wegelin has been sold to Reiffeisen quite some time ago. Wegelin only kept the US customer with the purpose to deal with the allegation. If I rembember correctly than the partners of Wegelin are privately liable. Thus they may have an interest in settling the matter.
I would guess the reason for settling like this is described in some confidential clauses in the settlement agreement; for example, protection from prosecution (this is an example, I assume no such clauses exist).
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Old 04.01.2013, 17:02
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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Rumours are still circulating that thousands of tons of customers' gold have been removed from allocated accounts in various countries and were last seen heading east.
care to give some further explanation of this for us laypeople not so familiar with these matters?
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Old 04.01.2013, 18:00
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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care to give some further explanation of this for us laypeople not so familiar with these matters?
Well people buy gold bullion (the actual physical stuff) from a bank & the bank offers to store it for them at a nominal price in their secure vaults.

The story is that these banks then sell the gold bullion (the actual physical stuff) & replace it with paper IOUs saying "when you ask for your gold back then we promise to give you your gold bullion (the actual physical stuff)"

The problem is that people buy the actual physical stuff because they do not trust pieces of paper and/or the organisations standing behind the promises written on these papesr. Consequently the gold owners would get quite miffed if they found out about this non-approved substitution.
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Old 04.01.2013, 19:50
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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I would guess the reason for settling like this is described in some confidential clauses in the settlement agreement; for example, protection from prosecution (this is an example, I assume no such clauses exist).
Well, UBS paid their fine and got the charges dropped as part of the agreement so unless there's something else we don't know I would have thought they could do the same. However, according to the article they deliberately went after the clients that other Swiss banks had been dropping or refusing because of possible tax evasion so maybe the US wouldn't cut a deal because of that.
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Old 05.01.2013, 19:58
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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care to give some further explanation of this for us laypeople not so familiar with these matters?
To give an 'explanation' is a difficult task and would largely be guessing on my part. Let's just say I have been following the gold scene (as a layperson) for some years and of recent there have been more and more stories about "allocated gold" being misappropriated. Obviously the people reporting this scandal often don't want to be named. I admit this puts such comments in the "rumours" league.
One person who has spoken openly about the "allocated gold" scandal is Egon von Greyerz but he is the owner of a Swiss gold investment company so one could also say that is merely his way of promoting gold sales.
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Old 08.01.2013, 08:13
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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Spend a lot of money fighting something that they're likely to lose given the Swiss government's tendency to do whatever the Americans want lately, while at the same time losing the ability to invest in American markets (e.g. their public FATCA stance), or... pay a small fine and take the rest of the money and run.

Seems like a smart, if regrettable, decision to me.
That "tendency" is based on the knowledge that whatever the Americans want is based on the USA constitution, which is the same as the one of Switzerland.
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Old 13.01.2013, 21:35
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

sad to see the oldest swiss bank go because of a law created during the american civil war, which has only been recently enforced because the us is losing all their money. sad indeed.
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Old 18.06.2013, 23:15
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

not sure most of the world agrees...
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Old 24.06.2013, 15:22
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Re: Swiss bank Wegelin fights US summons

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That "tendency" is based on the knowledge that whatever the Americans want is based on the USA constitution, which is the same as the one of Switzerland.
The Swiss constitution is definitely not the same as the American one.
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