Financial Regulatory Forum

Swiss minister says US insists on UBS tax deal – paper

ZURICH, Feb 11 (Reuters) – The Swiss government will probably have to turn to parliament to resolve a legal impasse threatening a deal struck with the United States to hand over data from UBS AG clients, a minister was quoted as saying.

The Swiss government had raised the option of parliament retroactively approving the deal, involving UBS clients suspected of dodging taxes, after a Swiss court ruled in favour of a UBS client seeking to prevent her account data from being given to the U.S. tax agency.

But the government’s preferred solution has so far been to negotiate a way out, hoping the United States would drop the issue if more than 10,000 UBS clients had turned themselves in voluntarily.

“I assume today that parliament has to get involved,” Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told Swiss daily Blick in an interview published on Thursday.

“The United States insist that we stick to the fundamentals of the agreement. This means they want the some 4,500 sets of client data, which refer to cases of severe tax evasion and tax fraud,” she said.

Swiss minister sees economic risk in U.S. tax dispute over UBS, shares fall

By Lisa Jucca

ZURICH, Feb 1 (Reuters) -¬†Shares in UBS AG fell to a 6-1/2 month low on Monday after the justice minister underscored the risk to the Swiss economy should the bank’s settlement of a U.S. tax dispute unravel.

Traders said news Germany was considering buying data of 1,500 possible tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts from an informant also weighed on the shares.

UBS settled a damaging tax row with the United States in August by agreeing to transfer data on 4,450 clients to U.S. tax authorities. But that deal is in question after a Swiss court ruled last month that most of the data cannot be transferred.