GENEVA – A Swiss tribunal has barred financial regulators from handing banking information of UBS bank clients to US authorities investigating tax fraud, ATS news agency reported.
Siding with a complaint from UBS clients, the tribunal on Friday issued an order forbidding Swiss bank regulator FINMA from giving the plaintiffs' "banking documents to third parties, particularly US authorities," ATS said.
The tribunal's decision came amid US Justice Department efforts to break through Switzerland's banking secrecy to go after tax cheats hiding their money in the European country.
UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, reached a settlement with US authorities on Wednesday in which it admitted to US tax fraud and agreed to pay 780 million dollars.
The bank was also ordered to hand over details of 250 to 300 US clients.
But UBS rejected a new US government lawsuit filed Thursday asking that the bank disclose the identities of some 52,000 US customers who allegedly evaded taxes.