Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Swiss lawmakers reject deal with U.S. over UBS

GENEVA -- Switzerland's effort to end a tax-evasion dispute with Washington hit a major setback Tuesday when lawmakers blocked a treaty that would have led the largest Swiss bank, UBS AG, to give U.S. authorities files on thousands of American clients. The treaty was rejected 104-76 as nationalist and left-wing lawmakers opposed it in the National Council. "With today's negative decision the National Council has unfortunately done a disservice to Switzerland's standing as an economic and financial center," said the Swiss Bankers Association, which has pushed for the UBS case to be concluded so the industry can move forward. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., called for the U.S. to go ahead in its case against UBS. "Rejection of the treaty is an international embarrassment that can be laid at the feet of Swiss legislators who are willing to continue to allow their banks to facilitate U.S. tax evasion," he said. -- The Associated Press

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