10 June 2013 at 12:06 BST

Swiss bar condemns secret US tax deal

The head of the Swiss Bar Association has slammed a secret deal between Bern and Washington over Swiss banks' alleged complicity in tax evasion by Americans.

Long-running tax dispute Gunnar Pippel

Newly elected Pierre-Dominique Schupp from Swiss law firm  Rusconi  Avocats  said that the deal was ‘deeply worrying from the rule of law point of view’ in the opening speech following his appointment. The agreement between the two countries was announced by the Swiss Finance Minister last week in a move to end the long-running dispute over tax evasion between the two countries.

Confidentiality clause

The arrangement was subject to a confidentiality clause which meant that no details could be released until the Swiss Parliament, which had no power to amend it, had passed the controversial deal, AFP reported. Lawyers and bankers were angered that the deal was an offer from the US and not an negotiated settlement, leading to fears that Swiss banks would have to ride roughshod over banking secrecy laws and pass information on to the US tax authorities.



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