The Swiss cabinet held an out-of-session meeting Monday on UBS AG's legal problems with U.S. tax authorities, a move analysts said could signal Switzerland is close to bowing to the United States on demands to hand over data.
A government spokeswoman did not comment on details of the meeting, which was held during the cabinet's summer recess, but analysts said Switzerland is trying to make arrangements to ensure that any concessions made to U.S. authorities as part of the settlement can, under Swiss law, be met. Those might include a faster administrative process than previously proposed.
"The cabinet was informed of the ongoing negotiations to reach a settlement, and won't comment publicly until the settlement has been reached," government spokesman Andre Simonazzi said.
The case centers on the Internal Revenue Service's efforts to obtain the identities of about 52,000 accounts so the agency can investigate alleged offshore tax evasion by UBS clients.
Lawyers involved in the case now say they believe UBS will agree to turn over up to 10,000 account holders' identities.
On Wednesday, the Swiss bank and the IRS are due to give a Miami district judge an update on negotiations to hammer out the two parties' deal.