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Government woos parties over UBS data

Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz has called on political parties in parliament to approve a deal with the United States over UBS client data.

This content was published on May 12, 2010 - 17:54

He said it made no sense to reject the deal, damaging the future of the bank and the Swiss economy.

Merz presented a plan by the cabinet, including measures to curb excessive bonus payments, aimed at limiting the risks for the national economy caused by important banks, known as the “too big to fail” problem.

“It is an ambitious timetable and our plan is binding. The aim is to give political assurances,” Merz told a news conference on Wednesday.

The government must submit legal amendments to parliament by the end of the year. They could come into force in 2012.

The government is facing opposition by two of the four main political parties ahead of a parliamentary debate on the US treaty in June.

The rightwing Swiss People’s Party is fundamentally against the deal, while the centre-left Social Democrats want stricter rules on banks in return for their approval.

Under the accord with the US, Switzerland is to process and hand over by next August data of up to 4,450 UBS clients suspected of tax evasion despite banking secrecy laws.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch

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