Switzerland hopes to restart talks with the U.S. over a long-simmering tax dispute following the re-election of president Obama, its economy minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Switzerland is trying to reach a deal to end investigations by U.S. tax authorities into 11 banks, including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer , suspected of helping clients dodge U.S. taxes with the help of offshore bank accounts.
It needs the tax deal so that it can normalize its banking relations with the United States and wants the investigations dropped in return for the payment of hefty fines by the Swiss banks and the transfer of names of thousands of U.S. clients.
“We are seeking clarification quickly,” Johann Schneider-Ammann told the Zentralschweiz am Sonntag newspaper. “The situation has been blocked recently. That must now change.”
The talks had stalled in the run-up to the U.S. election, and finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has suggested the ball is firmly in the U.S. court.
The two countries are at odds over U.S. demands for Switzerland to hand over bank data from before 2009.
In a separate interview with the BaslerZeitung at the weekend, Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner said the unresolved tax deal was a burden.