Swiss strike U.S. tax evasion deal

AFP-JIJI

Switzerland accepted Wednesday a U.S.-proposed settlement to a dispute over its banks’ alleged complicity in tax evasion by Americans, sparking anger among nationalists for whom the Alpine nation’s banking secrecy is non-negotiable.

The details of the deal remain under wraps due to a confidentiality clause, and it requires parliamentary approval — without the possibility of amendment, however.

But it will free up Swiss banks to circumvent parts of secrecy laws and turn over clients’ names to U.S. authorities, and paves the way for fines to settle claims of abetting tax evasion.

Swiss media earlier reported that the overall payouts to U.S. authorities could hit 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.3 billion).