Swiss parliament passes government deal with US on bank UBS

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Switzerland's lower house of parliament on Tuesday passed a deal with the United States settling US tax evasion litigation against Swiss banking giant UBS, sealing overall parliamentary endorsement.

The motion in the National Council was approved by 81 votes to 61. Fifty- three Swiss lawmakers abstained.

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 to force the bank to hand over information.

The deal needed parliamentary approval after the Swiss supreme court in January called its legal basis into question.

The Swiss senate had already endorsed the agreement.

© 2010 AFP

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