Daniel Bettini Published: 08.20.09, 07:50 / Israel Business

Holocaust survivors, their heirs hid their money in neutral country Switzerland. Now they must turn themselves in or risk fines, arrest

Swiss banking giant UBS and the American tax authorities signed an agreement last week concluding the tax evasion affair which has stirred up the banking and business world.

The agreement was reached following a threat made by the United States’ tax authorities to sue the bank, if it failed to provide the names of 52,000 American clients holding secret bank accounts in UBS. Such a lawsuit threatened to cause severe damage to the Swiss bank, but the trial was prevented at the last moment.

The details of the agreement are still secret, but more and more elements have been revealed in the past few days. It appears that the bank would not have to expose all 52,000 names, but would be forced in the coming months to hand over to the US tax authorities the details of 5,000 to 10,000 Americans who own UBS bank accounts.