Leuthard hopes for bank settlement

The UBS bank made mistakes over its US clients and will have to pay a price, Swiss Economics Minister Doris Leuthard said in Washington on Tuesday.

This content was published on July 7, 2009 - 22:00

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to force UBS, Switzerland's second biggest bank, to reveal information about some 52,000 US account holders whom it suspects of tax evasion. The bank argues that it would violate Swiss banking secrecy laws if it complied with the US request.

Leuthard told journalists that Switzerland hoped for a quick resolution to the issue. A protracted legal case would not be in the interest of the bank or of either country, she said.

She warned that what happened in the case could influence the Swiss parliament over its decision whether or not to ratify the recent dual taxation agreement reached between the two countries.

She hoped the two sides would find an out of court settlement before the case comes to court on July 13.

Leuthard goes to New York on Wednesday, and will then fly on to San Francisco and Los Angeles. and agencies

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