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Swiss banks to sign tax evasion deal with UK

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13:56 CEST+02:00

Just days after signing an anti-tax evasion agreement with Germany, Switzerland is now planning to strike a similar deal with the UK, according to Patrick Odier, head of the Swiss Bankers Association.

 

Odier told SonntagsZeitung that a UK deal could be sealed in the coming weeks, while banks were also looking at reaching agreements with Italy, France and the United States. 

The association's CEO, Claude-Alain Margelisch, told Der Sonntag newspaper that the German accord, which was announced on August 10th, would serve as a “base model” for other treaties.
 

The tax deal with Germany over the cross-border accounts of wealthy customers ends a long-running tax evasion dispute between the countries. The deal, which involves an up-front payment to Germany of 2 billion francs ($2.56 billion) by Swiss banks, will be signed by both governments in the coming weeks.

Odier expects the Germany deal to cost Swiss banks around 500 million francs to implement.

“Some institutes must adapt their computer systems and work processes, which is very time-consuming and expensive. For small to medium-sized banks, this may cause financial strain," Odier told Der Sonntag.

Any untaxed money will be sent back to Germany once the deal has been signed, said Odier. However, he added that the loss to Swiss banks would be offset by the receipt of new taxed income from Germany, which will now be legally secured. Odier does not expect money from Switzerland to be sent to Singapore or other offshore financial centres.

“Swiss banks will not be threatened out of existence, as they are well financed," he said.

 

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