Federal Council authorises first banks to participate in US programme

Bern, 29.11.2013 - During its meeting today, the Federal Council gave various banks authorisation to cooperate with the US authorities within the framework of the US programme to resolve their tax dispute. It encouraged the Swiss banks to give serious consideration to their participation in the programme and to make their decisions in this regard in a timely manner.

On 29 August 2013, Switzerland and the United States signed a joint statement to resolve the longstanding tax dispute between Swiss banks and the United States. In this, the United States makes provision for offering a unilateral US programme to settle the dispute, while Switzerland intends to enable affected banks to participate in the programme voluntarily and strongly encourage them to give it consideration. All banks against which were not the target of a criminal investigation by the United States by 29 August 2013 are entitled to participate. Banks that have to assume they have violated US law have until 31 December 2013, at the latest, to notify the US authorities that they wish to participate in the US programme in the so-called category 2.

In order to be able to participate in the US programme, Swiss banks have to ask the Federal Council for authorisation in accordance with Article 271 of the Swiss Criminal Code. With today's decision, the Federal Council authorised various banks to cooperate with the US authorities – for the first time – within the framework of the US programme. Client data is not covered by this authorisation. The authorisation states that banks must comply with applicable Swiss law, particularly data protection and employment law provisions, within the framework of their cooperation with the US authorities.

Information on the number and identity of the banks in question is confidential and will not be communicated.

Address for enquiries

Brigitte Hauser-Süess, Head of FDF Communications
Tel. +41 31 322 63 01, brigitte.hauser-sueess@gs-efd.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance

Federal Department of Finance