Swiss banks have handed over encoded access to millions of emails to the United States tax authorities

Full access to the information will only be provided when a tax agreement is in place between the two countries

Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf informed a parliamentary economics commission that Credit Suisse and seven other Swiss banks wanted to make concessions to the United States by offering information about client relations.

According to research by German-language public radio station, DRS, – the data offered includes communication between bank advisors and their clients. Four to six million emails are reported to be involved.

Switzerland is in the process of negotiating a tax agreement with the US to address the problem of US tax evaders hiding money in Switzerland. The negotiations have stalled because the US, which wants a fine in the billions, is demanding to see more bank client data.

Most recently, Widmer-Schlumpf said after meeting US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in Davos last Thursday that a deal to end the tax evasion row with the US could come later this year.