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US and EU attack Swiss in economic war: Ermotti

AFP · 23 Apr 2012, 09:24

Published: 23 Apr 2012 09:24 GMT+02:00

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Switzerland's financial industry could lose 20,000 jobs in the coming years due to the "economic war" being waged by the EU and US against its top banks, the head of UBS warned in an interview Sunday.

"Switzerland has been attacked since 2008," Sergio Ermotti, the head of Switzerland's leading bank, told the SonntagsZeitung.

This was partly because it offered more favourable tax rates than its international competitors, he added.

"We are in the middle of an economic war," he said.

"The idea is to weaken the two great Swiss banks, which have seen international success," he argued, referring to UBS and Credit Suisse.

His comments came after French prosecutors on April 12th opened a probe into whether the bank had helped its French clients avoid taxes. UBS has said it is fully cooperating with French authorities in the inquiry.

In the United States, 11 Swiss banks are being investigated on suspicion that they encouraged their clients to channel undeclared assets into Swiss accounts.

The coordinated campaign to undermine Swiss finance would lead to a loss in high-value accounts, Ermotti said.

"I am expecting Swiss finance to lose around 20 percent of its jobs in the coming years, being about 20,000 jobs," Ermotti told the paper.

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Switzerland has recently signed deals with Austria, Britain and Germany to toughen up penalties on tax cheats, but negotiations with Paris have stalled amid the ongoing French presidential elections.

Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf met with the US Attorney General Eric Holder on Saturday on the sidelines of an International Monetary Fund meeting for informal talks on the tax evasion issue.

The two sides agreed to continue to find ways to identify American taxpayers who have diverted undeclared assets into Swiss accounts, Widmer-Schlumpf said in statement.

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Your comments about this article

2012-04-23 15:01:05 by HoppSuisse
Finally, the truth is told. Our politicians have betrayed us to the US. And our banking industry is over.

The problem is that the US controls the banking system. They run the IMF and SWIFT (International transfers, you can not transfer money to any nation without them knowing and recording it). The US forces us to keep a certain amount of US Dollars in reserve of the Chf if we want to be able to transfer funds. Every time they create more US Dollars they are taxing us because more Dollars means the ones in circulation are worth less = our Chf is also worth less.

The US is slowly losing control because Russia, China, India and Brasil are developing their own banking system which does not use US Dollars to trade in.

The best solution for us is to support the US Dollar by creating Chf and trading them for US Dollars which will weaken our Chf and allow easy trade with our neighbors, then use the US Dollars to buy their gold. The gold will preserve our wealth.

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