Swiss private bank Frey closes, citing burdensome regulation after US tax row

GENEVA – A Swiss private bank says it is closing down because of what it calls costly and burdensome rules it needs to follow in the wake of a tax evasion row between Switzerland and the United States.

Bank Frey & Co. AG said its shareholders voted late Thursday to shutter the bank even though it is “financially healthy.”

The exclusive bank is one of 14 Swiss institutions under investigation by U.S. authorities over possible tax evasion by their American clients.

Washington and Bern reached a deal in August that would require Swiss banks to disclose information on U.S. clients and assets. Some would also have to pay a penalty.

Frey had links to Switzerland’s oldest private bank, Wegelin & Co., which closed at the start of the year after coming under U.S. pressure.