* U.S. probing 10 Swiss banks for helping U.S. clients to
* Swiss fin min says Swiss government working with affected
* Swiss fin min sees no need for emergency law or separate
ZURICH, Sept 11 Switzerland does not need an
emergency law or a separate treaty as it works toward a solution
in its latest tax spat with the United States, finance minister
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf was quoted as saying in a Swiss
newspaper interview on Sunday.
"The fact is that we are working with a lot of commitment
for a solution that Switzerland can deliver within the existing
legal framework of administrative assistance in the case of tax
fraud and tax evasion," Widmer-Sclumpf told NZZ am Sonntag.
"This is happening in accordance with the government and in
conjunction with the involved banks. There is no need for an
emergency law or a separate treaty," Widmer-Schlumpf said.
The United States has been pushing for Switzerland to hand
over bank client names who may have dodged taxes, as happened
last year when Switzerland allowed UBS to bend bank
secrecy and reveal details of around 4,450 clients to avoid
Credit Suisse is the target of a formal U.S.
investigation. U.S. authorities are also looking into whether
HSBC and smaller Swiss private banks and cantonal
banks, including Basler Kantonalbank, Wegelin and Julius Baer
helped wealthy Americans evade taxes.
Swiss media reported over the weekend that U.S. authorities
now have statistical data from the 10 Swiss banks being
investigated. In an interview with NZZ am Sonntag, Credit Suisse
chairman Urs Rohner said it had handed over statistical data.
Switzerland recently revised its double-tax agreement with
the United States and Widmer-Schlumpf said it would use this as
a basis to deal with requests for information on specific cases
from the United States.
"And we are also prepared, as we did in the UBS case, to use
a taskforce, which will allow us to take care of these requests
quickly," she said.
Widmer-Schlumpf, who will be in Washington for the annual
meeting of International Monetary Fund later this month, said
she was shocked former UBS employees had simply moved with their
clients to other banks to carry on helping them evading tax.
She said Switzerland's financial markets regulator FINMA may
have to be strengthened.
Rohner said Credit Suisse had not taken on any clients who
had left UBS after 2008. He also said Credit Suisse had
tightened its cross-border business regulations from 2005.
Credit Suisse's American offshore business accounted for 0.5
percent of revenue in private banking, Rohner said.
(Reporting by Katie Reid; Editing by Dan Lalor)