Leader: Need to restore faith in Swiss banking

By the Associated Press | January 12, 2012 | 4:50 AM EST

GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss president says one of the government's priorities for the new year is to restore confidence in the country's financial industry following a series of setbacks.

President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf says the resignation of Switzerland's central bank chief has prompted the Cabinet to examine ways of tightening loopholes in its oversight of the central bank and the bank directors' personal business transactions.

Swiss National Bank chairman Philipp Hildebrand stepped down Monday in the wake of public furor over his family's private currency deals.

Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters in Geneva on Thursday that Switzerland also intends to defend its tradition of banking secrecy while ensuring that tax evaders don't find a haven in its banks.