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Some 300 Swiss banks have until the end of Monday to decide whether to hand over records to Washington, in a bid to skirt US legal action for assisting American tax dodgers. Washington alleges that Swiss banks have helped US citizens hide billions of dollars in assets from tax authorities, in a row that has soured ties between the two in recent years. Under a deal recently reached between Bern and Washington to end the dispute, Swiss banks can avoid US prosecution by voluntarily handing over information on American clients, as well as by paying a fine. Banks that opened undeclared accounts for US clients before 2009, when Washington fined Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, $780 million for complicity in tax evasion, will face lower penalties.