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Liechtenstein's LGT exits trust business

Liechtenstein's LGT exits trust business

Stung by accusations that it helped rich foreigners engage in tax evasion, Liechtenstein's LGT Group said Tuesday it is exiting the trust and fiduciary businesses for good.
The tiny country's biggest bank sold its LGT Treuhand unit to First Advisory Group, also based in the principality. The Basel-based unit LGT Swiss Trust Co. has been sold to former employees, it said.
The bank declined to say how much the sale was worth.
LGT announced last year that it would abide by the tax rules of its clients' home countries. Previously the bank had worked under the assumption that it was up to clients to keep their tax affairs in order.
The decision came after LGT, which is owned by the Alpine principality's royal family, came under pressure from the United States, Germany and other European countries for allegedly helping tax evaders.
One of its former employees, Heinrich Kieber, is alleged to have sold the names of hundreds of LGT clients to German authorities, prompting a large-scale tax evasion probe that snared high-profile figures including the former CEO of Deutsche Post AG, Klaus Zumwinkel.
Germany has since passed the data to other countries, including the United States.
The U.S. Senate subcommittee on investigations issued a report last July criticizing LGT as one of the offshore banks that are helping Americans evade an estimated $100 billion in U.S. taxes a year.


Updated : 2021-02-26 00:52 GMT+08:00