Switzerland signs deal to end banking secrecy

Switzerland, in an effort to combat tax evasion and money laundering activities, has agreed to a deal with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agreeing to exchange data with 60 other countries that will effectively end its banking secrecy.

Switzerland is the world’s largest offshore wealth center, with an estimated $2.2 trillion in assets compared to a $632.2 billion GDP.

The fight to open up Switzerland’s infamous banking system to assess tax evasion and illicit funds has been ongoing on for the past few years. It already has bilateral tax collection agreements with the UK and Austria.

This tax agreement, was brought forward by the OECD and includes all G20 states and most European States. With the signing of this convention, the Swiss government can now ask large private banks like UBS AG, Julius Baer, and Credit Suisse Group AG to release information on their clients to tax auditors both locally and internationally.

There was much resistance from the Swiss bankers, including the chairman of the Swiss Bankers Associated, Patrick Odier who does not think that this automatic release of information is compliant with international standards...


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