Banking secrecy is not over in Switzerland

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Source: The Tax Justice Network, 31 March 2017

“News is breaking today of a co-ordinated raid by several governments on hidden assets in Swiss bank accounts. According to news reports authorities from the Netherlands, the UK, France and Germany have today taken part in a co-ordinated action against Credit Suisse.

A statement from the UK’s HMRC says that they have opened a criminal investigation into money laundering.

So far the inspectors have uncovered stashes of gold bars and works of art. Small fry perhaps but given the large scale nature of the operation there must be more to come.

All of this is surprising of course because for some time we have been told by the Swiss that the era of banking secrecy is over.

It is currently unknown what the source of the information the authorities are acting on. However, if it is another leak from a whistle-blower, it would be a great time for it to happen, almost one year since the release of the Panama Papers. What we do know though is that the information is unlikely to have come from the Swiss authorities who are apparently not too pleased about what is happening.

Perhaps now it is time for tax dodgers to understand that their secrets are not safe, no matter which firm of bankers they hire, and it will be easier and probably cheaper for them to simply comply with their obligations.”




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