Switzerland's economy minister said she hoped parliament would not link a deal between UBS and the United States on disclosing secret bank accounts with questions such as bankers' bonuses, the newspaper Sonntag reported on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the paper NZZ am Sonntag said three members of the government were proposing to link the UBS deal to a clamp-down on big bonuses and other measures to help pave its way through parliament.
Doris Leuthard, who is also president, said parliament's failure to approve the agreement on disclosing 4,450 accounts that U.S. citizens used to hide money from tax authorities would sour relations between the two countries.
I hope that parliament distinguishes between the agreement and open questions such as 'too big to fail' and regulating bonuses, she said. The government wants to solve these problems, but it's not possible to link them all.
The deal hit a stumbling block after a Swiss court ruled in January that such a transfer of data would breach existing law, and the government suggested parliament approve the agreement retroactively to solve the dilemma.
The right-wing SVP party, which holds the largest proportion of seats in parliament's lower house, is against the deal, while the Social Democrats want it linked to questions such as bonuses.
The government will discuss the UBS deal and an interim report on banks that are too big to fail at its meeting on Wednesday.
Citing sources close to the government, the NZZ said the foreign, justice and finance ministers had drawn up a four-point proposal to help ensure the UBS deal gets passed.
Companies would not be allowed to charge bonuses over 2 million Swiss francs ($1.87 million) as costs on their corporate taxes, the government would be allowed input on salaries at firms taking state aid, employee stock options would face higher taxes and the too big to fail commission's proposals would get support, the NZZ said.
Reuters reported the finance ministry's plan on April 12.
Leuthard told Sonntag that she thought banks needed stricter capital adequacy and liquidity rules.
Leuthard also said she hopes the euro does not fall further against the Swiss franc and that she is keen to conclude free trade agreements with India and Ukraine, among other states.
Because other (euro zone) members have high levels of debt, I hope that the euro doesn't weaken further, Leuthard said. That would be dangerous for our export industry.
Despite the Swiss National Bank's policy of fighting an excessive appreciation in the Swiss franc against the euro, the Alpine unit has gained more than 5 percent against the euro since December, in part due to market worries about ballooning debts in Greece and other southern European countries.
Leuthard said Europe accounted for about 70 percent of Swiss exports and that, to take advantage of emerging markets, Switzerland needed to clinch trade deals with the rest of the world faster than the European Union.
We're hoping for progress in 2010 with several countries, such as India and Ukraine, she said. With Russia and China, I hope to open negotiations. Thailand and Indonesia are also on the list. (Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by Louise Heavens)