Switzerland Breaks With Tradition On Tax Evasion

BERN, Switzerland — The Swiss government says it will cooperate on cases of international tax evasion, breaking with a long-standing tradition.

The Finance Ministry under President Hans-Rudolf Merz said Friday it will adopt standards set by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for countries working together against tax havens.

Switzerland had refused to commit since the standards were written in 2000 for fear they would compromise the country’s banking secrecy rules.

Switzerland is hoping to avoid being blacklisted when world powers meet in April to discuss stepping up their fight against tax cheats.

It is also embroiled in a dispute with the United States over wealthy Americans that have stashed money in its biggest bank, UBS AG.