US and Swiss bank giant UBS seek to delay tax trial

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US and Swiss bank giant UBS seek to delay tax trial

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The US government and UBS have asked for a delay to a trial that could see Switzerland’s centuries old tradition of banking secrecy cracked open.

US authorities are seeking to access the details of thousands of clients suspected of using the Swiss bank to dodge taxes. The trial in Miami is due to begin on Monday morning. However, the last minute joint request for a postponement until the beginning of August, suggests both may now be willing to settle out of court. The US Justice Department has made no comment, but UBS and the Swiss government have been signalling that they would like to see an end to the tax fight. That could result in an expensive settlement for the banking giant, with some reports claiming UBS may have to pay anywhere between two to three billion euros Switzerland has vowed to prevent UBS handing over client information to US authorities in an effort to defend its closely guarding banking secrecy. The US says it loses around 70 billion euros a year through offshore tax evasion schemes.