labels: Banks general, World economy
Tax row may damage UBS's reputation, say experts news
11 July 2009

Swiss bank UBS will be forced to reveal the name of the tax evaders when the case comes up for hearing next week, though it is not clear whether the bank could reach a settlement before the damaging court hearing starts, say experts.

The lawsuit against the bank, one of the world's largest wealth managers, was filed on 19 February 2009 by the US justice department in the federal court in Miami.

The bank was then asked to disclose the identity of as many as 52,000 Americans who evaded paying tax in the US by not disclosing their accounts that held cash and securities in secret accounts in UBS. (See: US justice dept hauls UBS to court to force disclosures)

US president Barack Obama, during his election campaign, had called UBS "tax cheats", and said at that time that he would crack-down on international tax havens and has signaled he will introduce a law as part of a wide ranging revenue raising and tax reform package where the crackdown could raise at least $50 billion a year in lost US tax revenues.

The hearing is due to begin in Miami on Monday.

Switzerland has vowed to prevent UBS from handing over client information to US authorities, in an attempt to defend bank secrecy, and says the tax case targeting its biggest bank is souring diplomatic ties.

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Tax row may damage UBS's reputation, say experts