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July 31, 2009

NYT: US, Switz reach agreement: UBS to release names

By Spear's

Switzerland and the United States reached an agreement in principle on Friday to settle out of court a case that sought to force the Swiss banking giant UBS to turn over the names of wealthy American clients suspected of tax evasion, a lawyer for the government said.

Switzerland and the United States reached an agreement in principle on Friday to settle out of court a case that sought to force the Swiss banking giant UBS to turn over the names of wealthy American clients suspected of tax evasion, a lawyer for the government said.

“We have an agreement in principal on the major issues,” Stuart Gibson, a Justice Department lawyer who is trying the case, said Friday during a conference call with the court. Mr. Gibson told Judge Alan Gold of Federal District Court in Miami that a final deal would be reached by Aug. 7.

Mr. Gibson gave no details on how many client names UBS would ultimately be forced to disclose or whether it would pay a fine. The planned settlement means that the two sides will not undergo a scheduled hearing on Monday. But Judge Gold said that if the two sides had not completed a deal by Aug. 7, they would be back in court on Aug. 10.

UBS and the Swiss government have been battling efforts by the Justice Department to force it to disclose the names of 52,000 wealthy American UBS clients suspected of offshore tax evasion. The efforts have threatened to peel back layers of Swiss banking secrecy, and have unsettled UBS, the world’s largest private bank and a pillar of the Swiss economy.

To read the full article, visit nytimes.com

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