Monday, August 3, 2009

UBS, Swiss and U.S. reach agreement on info about U.S. clients

UBS and the Swiss government have reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. to give the U.S. information about some American UBS clients who the U.S. maintains are evading taxes through accounts with the Swiss bank, according to media reports.

Reuters reported that, "A U.S. government source told Reuters on Friday he expected UBS not to pay a fine as part of the deal and Swiss newspapers reported the settlement would include the bank handing over 5,000 names of U.S. clients holding secret Swiss accounts -- about 10 percent of the names Washington was after."

The Wall Street Journal reported that UBS and the Swiss government had resolved their concerns about violating Swiss bank-privacy laws by combing through UBS client files and identifying "enough potential fraud to make them willing to hand over information about certain accounts.

"Swiss laws don't provide confidentiality if people engage in fraudulent activities such as setting up accounts with shell companies that lack any real business substance," The Wall Street Journal said.