The US offensive against Switzerland’s banking secrecy has sparked strong reaction among politicians and in the media there.
Anger was also directed at UBS, the country’s biggest bank, which caved in to demands by Washington to hand over the names of a couple of hundred suspected US tax evaders. While some papers accused the US of using “gangster methods”, others expressed exasperation with the banks, saying it is the taxpayers who will end up losing out. Despite UBS paying out a multi-million euro fine to Washington in a bid to settle the case, US authorities now want the names of tens of thousands more potential tax-evaders. The government argued it had no choice but to allow UBS to hand over the data to avoid criminal charges that could have threatened the whole of the Swiss economy, which is heavily dependent on the banking industry.