US to ease pressure on Switzerland

The United States will not at present be putting further pressure on Switzerland now that parliament has agreed to revisions of their taxation agreement, its ambassador says.

This content was published on March 6, 2012 - 20:17

Speaking to German-language television on Tuesday, Donald Beyer welcomed the decision by the House of Representatives to allow the US authorities to receive administrative assistance in matters involving grouped requests for information about US holders of Swiss bank accounts.

The US can now expect assistance if it submits requests based on a suspicious “pattern of behaviour” by people or financial institutions, and will no longer have to provide details of specific suspects.

Beyer described parliament’s decision on Monday as a “positive and useful step forward for the United States and Switzerland together”.

While admitting that there are still issues to be sorted out before a global agreement Is reached, he said he hoped this would soon be done to the satisfaction of both sides.

Asked whether the US would follow the European Union in pressing for the automatic exchange of data about bank clients, he said the important thing now was for the new double taxation agreement to be applied.

“I think the consensus in the United States right now is this existing agreement gives us the tools we need to do our job,” he said.

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