Swiss Banks Lost $383 Billion of Funds Amid Tax Probes, PwC Says

Aug 27, 2014 12:09 pm ET

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Banks in Switzerland lost 350 billion Swiss francs ($383 billion) from foreign clients over the past six years amid an international crackdown on offshore tax evasion, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Foreign clients withdrew as much as 100 billion francs to pay fines to governments in their countries of residence, PwC said today in its annual Swiss private banking study. About 250 billion francs was repatriated or transfered to another financial center, according to the document.

“The Swiss private banking center has faced enormous challenges since 2008,” PwC said. “The banks will be able to attract net new money if they succeed in bringing regularized assets back to Switzerland by emphasizing their high-quality service and strong performance.”

Switzerland’s private banking industry and traditional financial secrecy is under unprecedented scrutiny from tax authorities in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. is probing about a dozen Swiss banks, while another 100 Swiss wealth managers entered a Justice Department voluntary disclosure program at the end of last year. France, the U.K., Germany and Italy are among countries seeking to recoup undeclared fortunes stashed offshore.