Switzerland, US discuss UBS fraud case
Merz and Geithner aim to promptly resolve the tax fraud charges against UBS.WASHINGTON - Switzerland said Saturday it hoped for an early resolution of US tax fraud charges against its biggest bank, UBS, a case which strained ties with the United States.
Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz met US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington to discuss the issue, a Swiss government statement said.
Merz told Geithner he aimed to settle the issue before the Swiss government submits legislation on a new double-tax exemption treaty with the United States to the Swiss parliament.
The statement said the two men agreed on the need to find a prompt solution.
UBS admitted guilt to US tax fraud in February and identified some 300 US clients who were suspected of tax fraud by the US authorities.
Merz told Geithner that Switzerland wanted to improve cooperation on cross-border tax issues and would adopt in full the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) standards on tax-haven practices.
Negotiations on the double-tax exemption treaty, which regulates tax affairs between two countries, will begin on Tuesday, the statement said.
AFP / Expatica