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Banks allowed to reveal staff names to US

The Swiss government has authorised 11 banks under investigation by the United States over tax evasion issues to release names of employees involved.

Until now, all information handed over to US authorities investigating tax evasion by its citizens was done on the basis it was encrypted.

A spokeswoman for the finance ministry confirmed reports in weekend media that the government had recently decided to allow banks to deliver non-encrypted details of employees and third parties to US authorities.

The decision means the government has effectively waived the obligation under article 271 of the penal code which punishes “acts carried out without right for a foreign state”.

The spokeswoman said the decision had been taken to “defend the interests” of the banks concerned by the US investigations. and agencies

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