Basler Kantonalbank Says Swiss Bill Will Help U.S. Talks

Basler Kantonalbank, one of 14 Swiss financial firms under investigation by the Department of Justice, said a proposed Swiss framework to settle a dispute over untaxed assets will help its talks with the U.S.

“As is known, we have been cooperating for a while with the U.S. authorities in compliance with Swiss law,” the bank’s spokesman Michael Buess said in an e-mailed statement. “We are confident that the proposed solution for various banks will also positively influence our individual negotiations with the U.S. authorities and that we will succeed finding a solution.”

Switzerland’s government yesterday proposed a bill that authorizes the nation’s banks to cooperate with the U.S. and transfer information on their transactions with U.S. taxpayers while safeguarding their interests. The bill, which goes before the Swiss Parliament as early as next week, may come into force July 1.

The bill, which applies to all banks that had U.S. customers and not only for those under investigation by the U.S., “creates a clear legal basis to solve possible legacy issues of the U.S. business in a structured process,” Buess said.

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