Swiss Assembly votes against UBS disclosure
by Gill Montia
Story link: Swiss Assembly votes against UBS disclosure
The Swiss parliament has voted against a new law that would have resulted in UBS handing over the details of American account holders suspected of tax evasion in the US.
In August 2009 it emerged that US tax authorities were investigating clients of the investment bank, when a Florida court sentenced former UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, for helping American clients hide their wealth.
At the time, the US and Swiss governments reached an agreement which involved UBS releasing details of 4,450 account holders identified by the US Internal Revenue Service as potential tax evaders.
A bill ratifying the agreement was passed by the upper house of the Swiss Federal Assembly last week but has since been thrown out by the lower house, on a vote of 104 to 76.
The Bill will now go back to the upper house, and could eventually revisit the lower house for a new vote, although US authorities may prefer not to wait and decide to proceed with a court case against UBS.