Swiss banks hit deadline to reveal hidden accounts to US authorities
GENEVA (AFP) - Some 300 Swiss banks have until the end of Monday to decide whether to hand over records to Washington, in a bid to skirt US legal action for assisting American tax dodgers.
"I can confirm that the deadline is this evening, at the end of the business day," a spokesman for Swiss financial market regulator FINMA, told AFP, refusing to say how many banks had already signed up to take part in the programme.
Washington alleges that Swiss banks have helped US citizens hide billions of dollars in assets from tax authorities, in a row that has soured ties between the two in recent years.
Under a deal recently reached between Bern and Washington to end the dispute, Swiss banks can avoid US prosecution by voluntarily handing over information on American clients, as well as by paying a fine.