Switzerland and Germany's finance ministers on Wednesday agreed to open talks next year to resolve a bitter row over tax evasion and Swiss banking secrecy.Germany has been one of the fiercest European critics of its Alpine neighbour's banking secrecy rules in recent years, complaining that it encouraged German taxpayers to hide money in Swiss bank accounts.
Germany announced Monday that it may buy the names of suspected tax-dodgers from a Swiss whistle-blower, leaving the two countries on a collision course over Switzerland’s prized banking secrecy regulations.
Soner Kistak submits: Historically, speaking; under the Swiss principle of bank secrecy, privacy is statutorily enforced, with Swiss law strictly limiting any information shared with third parties, including tax authorities, foreign governments or even Swiss authorities, except when requested by a Swiss judge's subpoena However banking is not strictly anonymous since under its banking law all Swiss bank accounts..
Switzerland's finance minister acknowledges that he had a rough time this year after the Swiss bowed to international pressure on banking secrecy under the onslaught of US lawsuits and a crackdown on tax evasion.Yet, the Swiss banking industry insists that it was stirred rather than shaken by a tumultuous year that holed their sacrosanct secrecy, threatened to sap billions from their vaults and left their battered flagship bank UBS wheezing."You could describe it as a challenging year," James Nason, a spokesman for the Swiss Bankers Association, told AFP.
According to a new report on Privately Held, Non-Resident Deposits in Secrecy Jurisdictions the United States is the country with the largest amount of private, non-resident, deposits. Cayman Islands takes second, upholding its commonly held reputation as a tax haven often used to avoid paying taxes own by wealthy people. Switzerland comes in 9th.
The countries with the most private, foreign deposits in billion of $US.