Spanish savers move money to Switzerland

Crisis-hit savers in Spain are transferring their their money to Switzerland for safety, the head of Geneva's 80-strong banking association said on Wednesday.

"The (Spanish) clients have deliberately chosen to place their money in Switzerland because they no longer have confidence in Spanish banks," Bernard Droux, president of Geneva Financial Center, told reporters.

Geneva banks had seen an influx overall of new deposits in recent months, he said, refusing to provide numbers but stressing that the money had been taxed and declared.

In addition to an increase in Spanish funds, Droux said Geneva banks had seen an inflow of cash from other eurozone countries so far this year, as well as from the Middle East and developing countries including those in South America.

An inflow of funds since the eurozone debt crisis took hold has pushed up the Swiss franc, seen as a haven asset, and driven the Swiss monetary authorities to massive measures to try to hold their currency down to prevent Swiss exports from becoming too expensive.

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union and so is not a member of the eurozone.

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