Switzer­land eases its bank­ing se­crecy rules

Kathimerini English - - Business & Finance -

Swiss lawmakers yes­ter­day gave their fi­nal ap­proval to ease bank­ing se­crecy rules and fa­cil­i­tate for­eign authorities in ef­forts to iden­tify those who may have hid­den un­de­clared funds in the Alpine state.

The up­per cham­ber of par­lia­ment adopted the new dou­ble tax­a­tion ac­cords ne­go­ti­ated with cer­tain coun­tries, in­clud­ing Greece, re­gard­ing in­for­ma­tion ex­change, fol­low­ing the green light given by the lower house in April. Greeks are es­ti­mated to have de­posited be­tween 30 and 40 bil­lion eu­ros in Swiss bank ac­counts.

Apart from Greece, new treaties have been ne­go­ti­ated with coun­tries in­clud­ing the Nether­lands, Tur­key, Ja­pan, Poland, In­dia, Ger­many, Kaza­khstan, Canada and Uruguay, af­ter Switzer­land bowed to in­ter­na­tional pres­sure in 2009 to ease its bank­ing se­crecy rules.

Un­der the new rules, Switzer­land will no longer re­quire the name and ad­dress of an in­di­vid­ual as well as a bank, be­fore pro­vid­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive aid on tax mat­ters to for­eign authorities. Rather, an IBAN num­ber or a so­cial se­cu­rity num­ber will suf­fice to iden­tify the in­di­vid­ual.

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