Credit Suisse provided banking data to US: Swiss govt

10th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Credit Suisse has transmitted banking data to Washington, but did not include any private information on customers, Swiss finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told local television on Saturday.

"Credit Suisse has provided statistical information to US authorities," she said in the nightly news show Tagesschau.

"But there was no personal data ... that would be a violation of banking secrecy," she said.

The data could be used by US authorities to request Switzerland for further information on bank clients, in a practice known as "administrative assistance", she said.

Widmer-Schlumpf said Swiss authorities would resond to such demands, but "so far Switzerland has not received a request from the US".

Last week, local weekly SonntagsZeitung reported that Washington had asked for detailed information on US nationals who might have improperly hidden money in Switzerland, basing its report on a purported letter from US deputy attorney general James Cole, dated August 31 and addressed to Swiss authorities.

US authorities wanted all data concerning private customers and US foundations which have deposited at least $50,000 (35,300 euros) in Switzerland between 2002 and July 2010, it said.

On Wednesday, Switzerland's President Micheline Calmy-Rey told reporters that Swiss authorities had not provided the names of any clients of Swiss banks to US tax authorities.

"For Switzerland, any exchange of information on client data is only possible if it is based on existing legislation," she said, referring to the double taxation treaty reached in 2009 with the United States.

© 2011 AFP

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