Shareholders have voted to close Swiss private bank Frey & Co due to ‘unsustainable costs’ resulting from a dispute with the US over tax evasion.
Switzerland’s oldest bank, Wegelin, shut down earlier this year due to the conflict, after pleading guilty to helping Americans avoid tax. Frey & Co. however have made it clear that it hasn’t been indicted and it not under the threat of being so.
The private bank cited increased regulation as a reason for its closure, causing cost rises that made it impossible for small private banks to operate.
In a statement, Chairman Markus A. Frey said: ‘As a result of developments in recent years, circumstances and challenges have presented themselves, especially in Switzerland, that mean it no longer makes sense for a small bank to continue its cross-border services.’