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February 26, 2009

Reuters: Switzerland sets up secrecy task force

By Spear's

Switzerland has set up a taskforce to find ways to better defend its interests amid a U.S. tax investigation into UBS that threatens to undermine bank secrecy laws, the government said on Wednesday.

BERNE (Reuters) – Switzerland has set up a taskforce to find ways to better defend its interests amid a U.S. tax investigation into UBS that threatens to undermine bank secrecy laws, the government said on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz, who also holds the rotational Swiss presidency, told a news conference he, along with Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, would lead the work on the strategy.

The three ministers, helped by lawyers, bankers and diplomats as well as experts from America, will focus on the civil lawsuit against UBS, questions surrounding bank secrecy and the crucial financial industry, which makes up about 15 percent of Switzerland’s gross domestic product.

“The mandate of the committee is to protect the interests of our country in the case of UBS and in the context of bank secrecy and Switzerland as a financial center,” Merz said.

To read the full article, visit reuters.com

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