Swiss parliament resolves split over referendum over US tax cheat files

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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GENEVA — Swiss lawmakers on Thursday resolved a split on whether to allow a referendum on a treaty with the United States that will hand Washington thousands of files on suspected tax cheats.

Parliament’s upper and lower house agreed that there will be no possibility of referendum on the deal that will see the country’s biggest bank, UBS AG, divulge the names of 4,450 American clients suspected of tax evasion to U.S. authorities.

The lower house gave in, dropping its earlier demand that Swiss voters should be allowed to approve the deal in a referendum before it comes law.

The resolution of the split secured final approval of the treaty, which the government hopes will eventually end UBS’s three-year battle with U.S. tax authorities that culminated in revelations the bank had for years helped American clients hide millions of dollars in offshore accounts.

Shares in UBS were up 0.13 per cent at 15.53 Swiss francs ($13.75) on the Zurich exchange.

Organizations: UBS AG

Geographic location: United States, GENEVA, Washington Zurich

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