- banking - justice - Switzerland - UBS - USA
AFP - A US judge on Monday postponed the opening of a lawsuit seeking to force Swiss financial giant UBS to reveal thousands of offshore accounts held by US clients.
The judge agreed to a request from the US and Swiss governments as well as UBS to put off the start of case until August 3 to give all parties time to negotiate a resolution.
"I'm willing to grant this motion and encourage such negotiations. I would not be unwilling to grant further extensions rather than the contrary," Judge Alan Gold told the court in a hearing that lasted seven minutes.
Eugene Stearns, lawyer for UBS, told the court: "The two governments are in talks and we don't want to stand in the way of democracies."
The team for the US government also said it agreed to a 15-day stay to allow the talks to proceed.
US authorities are asking a federal court to order UBS to reveal the names of American offshore account holders, saying the Swiss bank "systematically and deliberately" violated US laws.
The case stems from a lawsuit filed earlier this year and affects as many as 52,000 US taxpayers suspected of holding UBS offshore accounts to avoid paying US taxes.