In what appears to be an attempt to shed its image as a haven for tax evaders, the Swiss government has cleared the first batch of banks to cooperate with U.S. authorities under a deal to stem tax evasion. The country once known for its misuse of famous banking secrecy has succumbed to international pressure.
The Cabinet gave its approval on Friday but said that it would prefer to keep the actual number of banks involved and their names a secret. This agreement will give Swiss banks the ability to settle any potential U.S. charges if they disclose information related to American assets. Some may face fines. Banks that are seeking participation will have to do so with exclusive permission from the government.