Swiss Supreme Court allows transfer of Credit Suisse client data to US

Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court, the country's top court has ruled in favour of the government transferring bank records of an American client of Credit Suisse to the US tax authorities.

The court rejected an appeal against a lower court's decision that requests for such assistance were admissible in cases of suspected tax fraud.

The development is expected to give some relief to Swiss banks by helping to end US investigations.

The Swiss government is expected to sign a deal to end US investigations into the country's banks. The deal, however, may result in fines totalling up to $10 billion and the transfer of names of Americans suspected of evading tax.

The Swiss government had on Wednesday agreed that banks could seek permission to help them to avoid US criminal charges by handing over data, including on bank staff. They are, however, not allowed to hand over client names directly.

The Supreme Court ruling comes on a US request submitted to Switzerland last year for information on former Credit Suisse clients suspected of cheating on their US taxes.

Julius Baer, the Swiss arm of Britain's HSBC, privately held Pictet and state-backed regional banks Zuercher and Basler are the other Swiss banks in the US probe list of more than a dozen banks.

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse said on Friday that saw a $94.1 million (90 million Swiss francs) from a British-Swiss tax deal aimed at sweeping Swiss banks clean of undeclared money held in accounts of UK clients.