The CEO of Swiss banking giant UBS AG has said the nation's tax disputes with the United States and some European nations are "an economic war" putting 20,000 jobs at risk.

Sergio Ermotti, appointed CEO in November in the wake of a trading scandal, is quoted by Zurich weekly newspaper SonntagsZeitung as saying Switzerland is "stuck in the middle of economic warfare" and its opponents' goal is to weaken the nation's two biggest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse.

Ermotti is quoted in the Sunday paper as saying rivals seek a share of the banks' combined foreign assets of 2.2 trillion Swiss francs ($2.42 trillion), forcing UBS to cut costs and imperiling 20,000 jobs.

Switzerland has signed deals with the U.S., Germany and Britain to crack down on tax evaders.