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Deal between USA and UBS to be signed Wednesday

Switzerland’s UBS, Europe’s largest bank, and the US government are due to be sign an out-of-court settlement on Wednesday. UBS was accused of violating US law in promoting offshore accounts for American citizens.

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AFP - The out of court settlement between Swiss banking giant UBS and the US government over tax evasion is due to be signed in the United States on Wednesday, a source close to the matter said.

"The agreement should be signed tomorrow at 8:00 am (1200 GMT) in the United States," the source told AFP on Tuesday.

Attorneys announced on August 12 that the two sides had initialed a deal setting aside the US Justice Department's court action in the diplomatically sensitive tax evasion case.

No details of the agreement have been released so far.

The US government had been trying to force UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, to reveal the names of thousands of Americans with offshore accounts arranged by the bank who could face tax evasion charges.

The formal signature should lift the veil of secrecy on the accord, which came about with the involvement of the governments of both countries as well as UBS.

Swiss media have reported that it should allow the bank to escape a fine and reveal 5,000 names to authorities, instead of the 52,000 initially demanded in the United States.

US justice authorities said the Swiss bank "systematically and deliberately" violated American laws in promoting offshore accounts for American citizens.

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