Swiss parliament approves bank data transfer deal with US

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The Swiss parliament formally adopted on Thursday a deal with Washington settling US tax evasion litigation against Swiss banking giant UBS, foreseeing the transfer of secret client data.

The Swiss parliament's two chambers had on Tuesday accepted in principle the accord, agreed between the government and the United States in August 2009.

However, the lower house gave its backing on condition that the deal be put to voters in referendum, which the upper house rejected on Wednesday.

The two houses overcame their differences on Thursday with the idea of a referendum being dropped.

Switzerland, the United States and UBS agreed in August 2009 that the bank would identify 4,450 US clients suspected of tax evasion in an attempt to settle lawsuits by US authorities.

© 2010 AFP

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