Switzerland hires US lawyers

17th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

In a dispute between UBS and US authorities, the Swiss bank hires US lawyers.

BERN - Switzerland will hire a team of US lawyers to defend its position on banking secrecy in a dispute between top Swiss bank UBS and US authorities over alleged tax fraud, the government said on Friday.

The lawyers will write a brief for the court "explaining Switzerland's legal position with a view to giving added emphasis to Switzerland's sovereign interests," the Swiss Confederation said in a statement.

UBS in February provided details on some 300 US clients suspected of tax fraud by US authorities and paid a fine of USD 780 million (CHF 924 million, EUR 604 million) to settle charges by the US government.

United States officials requested details on 52,000 more UBS clients.

But UBS, the world's largest manager of private wealth, stressed that information about undisclosed accounts maintained by Americans at the bank in Switzerland are protected by Swiss financial privacy laws.

AFP / Expatica

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