The Swiss arms of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have agreed to hand over potentially incriminating details to US regulators about how they might have helped Americans evade taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the publication reported that the two banks will not face prosecution in the US in return, but could be fined up to 50% of the value of the undeclared US accounts they have handled.
As part of the program with the authorities, dubbed category 2, banks agreed to comb through their books and compile information about how they set up Swiss accounts for US clients, the journal said.
According to the report, the information, including how much was contained in the accounts, will be be reviewed by an independent examiner.
The move comes as the U.S. Justice Department ramps up its investigations of Swiss banks that helped Americans dodge taxes leading to billions of dollars of missed revenues.