Switzerland's Federal Tax Administration exchanged details of more than two million bank accounts registered in the country with international partners as part of a financial transparency initiative called the Automatic exchange of information (AEOI). The international agreement, to which Switzerland is a signatory, came into force in January 2017.
As part of its first data exchange in the program, Switzerland handed over details on accounts held at 7,000 financial institutions to EU partners and nine other partner territories: Australia, Canada, South Korea, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Iceland, Japan, Jersey and Norway.
The data shared includes identification details, account and financial information – including name, address, state of residence and tax identification number – as well as information concerning the reporting financial institution, account balance and capital income.
The AEOI, which will now take place on a yearly basis, helps local authorities crosscheck the status of local tax declarations through international verification. "The exchanged information allows the cantonal tax authorities to verify whether taxpayers have correctly declared their financial accounts abroad in their tax returns," said the Swiss government in a statement (EN).
In return, the Swiss authority gained access to data from "millions" of accounts which were shared by its partners. It is the first time the Swiss government has participated in such an exchange.
"Cyprus and Romania are currently excluded as they do not yet meet the international requirements on confidentiality and data security," adds the statement.