Swiss Banks Said Ready to Pay Billions, Disclose Customer Names

[wikichart align=”right” ticker=”NYSE:CS” showannotations=”true” livequote=”true” startdate=”26-04-2011″ enddate=”26-10-2011″ width=”300″ height=”245″]Swiss banks will probably settle a sweeping U.S. probe of offshore tax evasion by paying billions of dollars and handing over names of thousands of Americans who have secret accounts, according to two people familiar with the matter.

U.S. and Swiss officials are concluding negotiations on a civil settlement amid U.S. criminal probes of 11 financial institutions, including Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), suspected of helping American clients hide money from the Internal Revenue Service, according to five people with knowledge of the talks who declined to speak publicly because they are confidential.

Switzerland, the biggest haven for offshore wealth, wants an end to new U.S. probes while preserving its decades-old tradition of bank secrecy, the people said. The U.S. seeks data on Americans who have dodged U.S. taxes and a pledge by Swiss banks to stop helping such clients, according to the people. The Swiss reached accords this year with Germany and the U.K. on untaxed assets.

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