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The Swiss Bank System and The End of Confidentiality

Original Article Written by Luigi CATTANEO


Switzerland has been primarily viewed as the land of wealth and privacy. The country has drawn numerous wealthy foreigners looking for an appropriate place to keep their assets confidential. Being one of the most prominent banking hubs in Europe and the world, Switzerland’s bank system has been considered stable and highly confidential.

However, Switzerland has recently faced pressure from other countries to reveal information about Swiss-based bank accounts. Major reasons for this were attributed to finance scandals such as the one of 17th of March and the freezing of approximately $400 million in assets in more than 30 banks.

Because of intense international pressure, on 15th of October 2013, Switzerland signed the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Currently the convention has been approved and signed by more than 60 countries. The goal of the conference is to provide various forms of mutual assistance such as foreign tax examinations, simultaneous tax examinations and exchange on request.

Automatic exchange of information on behalf of Switzerland will begin in Sept 2018. All procedures to force people to reveal their assets have been initiated already. The country has committed to provide assistance for information exchange.

Wealthy foreign nationals will have to take reasonable actions to clarify their situations to avoid pitfalls and unpleasant situations.

Every person situation is different and it is important to obtain competent legal advice before making any decisions that affect the security of your assets. For further steps and to make sure you avoid any legal or administrative complications, contact a qualified attorney who has experience assisting wealthy international clientele.




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