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US client data to be provided based on activity

The United States will not be obliged to provide names or bank account numbers when seeking Swiss assistance on tax evaders under a new double taxation agreement.

Instead, it will be sufficient for the US to demand help based on a “pattern of behaviour” indicating suspicious actions on the part of a bank or financial establishment.

Details of the new agreement were revealed in official government documents published on Tuesday.

In cases where US authorities are able to supply enough details to justify a suspicious pattern of behaviour, Swiss banks will hand over the names and account details of US clients suspected of tax fraud – which happened to 4,500 UBS clients in 2009.

But provisions being submitted to the Swiss parliament this month insist that all “fishing expeditions” for information on the part of the Americans will be denied.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR