UBS set to settle tax dispute with US government thanks to Swiss treaty

SWITZERLAND’S largest bank UBS could end a long-running tax dispute with America tomorrow, when the Swiss parliament is expected to approve a treaty to hand over files on thousands of suspected tax cheats to US authorities.

The deal to relax Swiss laws on banking secrecy could still be halted by rogue votes from opposition parties, who have demanded concessions from the government in return for their approval.

The US government had accused UBS of helping some of its citizens hide nearly $20bn (£13.8bn) of untaxed money in secret accounts.

It dropped tax evasion charges last August, after the Swiss government agreed to breach its own secrecy laws to hand over details of 4,450 of the bank’s US clients.

After a court ruled this decision unlawful, the government tabled the new treaty.

The upper house of the Swiss parliament approved the treaty last Thursday.