Swiss Government To Sell Its Stake In UBS

The Swiss government has announced it is selling its stake in banking giant UBS. During the financial crisis, the government had put billions into the bank. The news comes on the heels of an announcement that UBS reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to provide the IRS with information on more than 4,400 accounts suspected of holding undeclared assets by American customers.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with the Swiss government bailing out of a bailout.

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MONTAGNE: The government is expected to sell its stake in the banking giant UBS - over five and a half billion dollars worth. The Swiss government put in those billions last year to help the bank cope with the financial crisis. The news that it's pulling the money out comes on the heels of an announcement that UBS has reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department. The Swiss bank offers customers accounts that have only a number and not a name on them. The U.S. government suspects many of these secret accounts belong to wealthy U.S. citizens who are evading taxes. The Swiss bank has now agreed to provide customer data on about 4500 of those accounts.

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