Wegelin & Co, a Swiss private bank that was indicted on 2 February 2012 for conspiring with US taxpayers to hide more than $1.2bn in secret accounts, has plead guilty to the charges.
Wegelin & Co was founded in 1741 making it Switzerland's oldest bank. It was principally owned by eight managing partners. The bank had no branches outside Switzerland, but it directly accessed the US banking system through a correspondent account that it held at UBS AG in Stamford, Connecticut.
The bank had 12 branches in Switzerland and had an estimated $25bn in assets under management as of December 2010.
The bank said it would shut its doors after its guilty plea to the charges.
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.