Swiss govt concern over US tax evasion probe

Switzerland’s finance minister Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz yesterday defended
banking giant UBS amid concerns a US tax
evasion probe into the bank could damage the country’s reputation.

He said the ‘presumption of innocence’ should be applied to the bank, but
stressed the government would co-operate with the US authorities on the case,
Forbes magazine reports.

US authorities have requested UBS reveal the details of bank accounts held by
US citizens in the investigations – an issue the bank took ‘very seriously’.

Complying with such a summons would mean flouting Swiss privacy and banking
secrecy laws, and Merz was forced to brief a parliamentary economic commission
on the case last Tuesday.

Further reading:

US ramps up tax purge beyond UBS

Swiss go to Washington for tax evasion

the Forbes magazine story

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