Swiss bank UBS has reached an agreement in principle with Washington settling their dispute over thousands of wealthy Americans suspected of using UBS accounts to evade paying tax in the US.
Word of the deal to roll back Switzerland’s strict bank secrecy laws came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Washington with the Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. Clinton told reporters: “There’s been an understanding between the Swiss government and our government over the ongoing litigation concerning UBS. Our governments have worked very hard on this to reach that point, so we’re very pleased that the announcement was made this morning.” A final agreement is expected to be signed with the US Justice Department next week, heading off a court hearing over disclosing the identities of as many as 52,000 Americans with secret Swiss accounts. UBS had already handed over details of 250 US clients and paid a 780 million dollar fine in a separate, but related tax dispute.