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    Farewell Offshoring: Swiss Private Bank Lombard Odier Signs Up To U.S. Tax Deal

    Lombard Odier & Cie on Friday became the latest Swiss bank to say it would work with U.S. officials in a crackdown on Swiss lenders suspected of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes through hidden offshore accounts.

    The Geneva-based bank with 203 billion Swiss francs ($227 billion) in client assets is the biggest privately-held firm so far to say publicly it will take part in a government-brokered scheme to make amends for aiding tax evasion.

    The deal between the United States and Switzerland is part of a U.S. drive to lift the veil on bank secrecy in the Alpine country, the world’s largest offshore finance center with more than $2 trillion in assets.

    Under the deal, Swiss banks have until the end of the year to sign up to the program which requires the firms to hand out some previously hidden information and face penalties of up to 50 percent of assets they managed on behalf of U.S. clients.

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