A key informant in the U.S. tax evasion case against Swiss bank UBS AG has asked a Florida court to postpone the scheduled January 8 start of his prison term, saying he is ready to cooperate further with the U.S. government in the case.

Former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld, who was sentenced in August to three years and four months in prison for helping a billionaire hide assets from U.S. tax authorities, made the postponement request in a filing this weekend by his lawyer to a U.S. district court in Florida.

He also requested a hearing to reconsider the 4O-month sentence imposed on Birkenfeld by federal Judge William Zloch on August 21.

Since the August 21, 2009 sentencing hearing, Mr. Birkenfeld has been ready, willing and able to cooperate further with the Government in helping bring cases against other UBS clients suspected of cheating U.S. tax authorities, the filing submitted by attorney David Meier said.

Accordingly ... the defendant respectfully submits that the court should extend the date on which Mr. Birkenfeld is to self-report to the Bureau of Prisons (presently scheduled to be January 8, 2010, the document said.

Birkenfeld's sentencing in August came two days after U.S. and Swiss authorities signed a pact in which Switzerland agreed to reveal the names of about 4,450 wealthy American clients of UBS to U.S. tax investigators.

(Reporting by Pascal Fletcher; editing by Martin Golan)