Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Hamas denies capturing Israeli soldier as Gaza truce lies in tatters

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Police 'chokehold' caused NYC death, coroner rules

    Read more

  • French most keen to erase their online footprint, says Google

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

Business

Austrian, Luxembourg, Swiss banks forced to ease secrecy

Video by Christopher MOORE

Latest update : 2009-03-14

Renowned tax havens Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland have agreed to relax banking secrecy practices, three weeks ahead of the G20 economic summit.

AFP - Switzerland announced on Friday that it would relax its practices on banking secrecy, saying it would conform to OECD standards after similar decisions by several other European countries.
   
The government said in a statement that by accepting standards laid down by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Switzerland was undertaking to strengthen the exchange of information with other countries.
   


This would be done "case by case" and on the basis of "concrete and justified" requests.
  
The decision would be applied by means of bilateral agreements on double taxation.
   
But the Swiss authorities insisted that their acceptance of OECD standards did not change the basic nature of banking secrecy in Switzerland.
  
Switzerland was "maintaining banking secrecy and resolutely refused all automatic transmission of information," the government said.
   
"The private sphere of clients is still protected from unjustified watching from abroad."
   
Three weeks before a summit meeting of leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) leading countries in London, and in the face of a risk that Switzerland might be included on a so-called black list of uncooperative centres sheltering tax evasion, the Swiss authorities also stressed that its "banking secrecy does not protect tax crimes."
   
The Swiss statement came the day after Liechtenstein, Andorra and Belgium said that they would relax their banking secrecy practices.
   
And on Friday, Austrian Finance Minister Josef Proll said that Austria would agree to lift its banking secrecy, case by case, if "justified suspcions" were presented.
   
Luxembourg Treasury and Budget Minister Luc Frieden said on Friday that his country was ready to relax its banking secrecy, mainly by accepting to exchange information with other countries if tax fraud were suspected.

Date created : 2009-03-13

COMMENT(S)