• Switzerland edition

Credit Suisse hands US millions of emails: report

Published: 31 Jan 2012 09:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Jan 2012 09:34 GMT+01:00

After consultation with Credit Suisse and other Swiss banks, Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has offered the US tax authorities millions of internal client emails in an attempt to relieve pressure on banks, according to reports.

Some of the documents provided also included emails between client advisors and their US clients, personnel records and customer profiles, Swiss online news platform Blick.ch reported on Tuesday.

The number of documents already delivered is estimated to be between four and six and a half million, all of which have been provided by bank giant Credit Suisse. The move is seen as part of Switzerland’s strategy to try to stem the tide of US attacks on Swiss banks.

The documents are encrypted to protect the names of individuals, Blick said. The key to decoding the information will only be provided on assurances from the US that no further action against Switzerland’s remaining 300 banks will be taken, Blick reports.

Switzerland wants these assurances to be enshrined in a new treaty with Washington, radio station DRS reports.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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Your comments about this article

2012-02-05 03:05:38 by DavidtheNorseman
@HoppSuisse Thank you for the information. I didn't realize how things were in Switzerland. I agree that it must be irritating to have foreigners overseeing one's banking! Canada is so intertwined with the US and has been for a couple of hundred years so it is more like your brother knowing your business: not always pleasant but never unexpected :-, As for property I wasn't thinking of Canadians buying in Switzerland (though some of our richest like Shania Twain have indeed done so) but was wondering if what has been happening here - especially with older citizens who have become concerned about the stock market's ability to protect their savings - has been happing in Switzerland. That is that people are buying propery as a hedge against volatility (as well as gold). With property there are sometimes opportunities to lease or rent the land/buildings so that there is an income stream alongside the protection of the ownership of land. Thanks again! DtN
2012-02-03 23:56:37 by HoppSuisse

There has not been numbered accounts in decades. This is why banking secrecy is a false myth – it does not exist. What did exist was banking privacy.Privacy is a human right, but those who would like to take/give away our freedoms call it secrecy because it gives an immoral connotation. A few years ago everyone here was outraged to learn that the international money transfer system, SWIFT, is monitored by the US. Then we found out that even some transfers and payments between local banks are recorded in the US. What do we have to do with the US?

The owning of property by non-Swiss citizens is dealt with on a Kantonal (state, providence) level and has been relaxed in some Kantons for the wealthy.
There seems to be 3 small areas with Real estate bubbles currently, Zurich, Genf (Geneva) and Graubunden (St Moritz area). But very expensive properties are standing unsold. I think Canada is a very good place to be.

Take care,

2012-02-02 01:34:18 by DavidtheNorseman
@HoppSuisse - over the pond here in Canada folks are also quietly investing in land. Is that an option in Switzerland? Land ownership here is a relatively easy investment (though to be exact you can at best - citizen or otherwise - be a "Freeholder from the Crown", meaning that your rights to your land are subservient to the governing authority and not absolute)
2012-02-02 01:30:16 by DavidtheNorseman
Actually, it is rather disquieting to a foreigner. When I was a young fellow Switzerland was the place that anyone could put their family savings in no questions asked. While this was open to abuses, it also allowed innocent people being persecuted in their home regions to escape the added evil of the seizure of their liquid property by any old tyrannt who felt like it. Are there any simple numbered account banks left in Switzerland or is it now all reporting-to-Manhattan-or-Berlin subsidiaries of the Overlords of the West-du-jour? Discretion was the key value of Swiss banking.
2012-01-31 13:48:06 by HoppSuisse
Absolutely shameful, by allowing the banks to do this we have not only betrayed those who trusted us we have destroyed our integrity.

We can not make deals with thieves and extortionists, that is what this is. Eventually the US is going to nationalize the banks they have in their control anyway and these bankers will lose not only their integrity but also their money (which they worship).

Just yesterday The Local reported that Wegelin & Co. had resolved this issue by selling their banks here in Switzerland to Raiffeisen. This is to contain the potential losses to the US to the banks on their soil. This was a wise and honorable move. Raiffeisen does not have exposure to US jurisdiction.

If you have any exposure to US toxic assets (Dollars, equities, bonds or papers of any kind, fixed property, etc.) sell them immediately.
Close your accounts in Credit Suisse, UBS and any other bank that has international branches, they are all at risk.

Do what the Central Banks are doing – buy gold.
China last year bought 490 tons through Hong Kong and that does not count other avenues and that they are the largest producers of gold in the world.This is more then half the total the Swiss National Bank has. The Chinese are not allowed to export their gold.
Tell everyone you know to sell Dollars and buy gold.
Tell the Politians to raise the National Gold Reserve, vote for it.

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