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No discrimination Swiss banks asked to give Swiss expats fair deal

The Swiss Abroad community feels discriminated by Swiss banks for nearly ten years

(Keystone)

New moves are underway in parliament to ensure that Swiss expatriates are granted unrestricted access to services of Swiss banks.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) says two motions were filed, asking the government to reform regulations, providing services, including credit cards of the state-owned Post Finance, to expats with the same conditions as Swiss residents.

The demand was launched by the foreign affairs committee of the House of Representatives.

Another proposal, by Senator Filippo Lombardi who is also a vice-president of the OSA, calls for a guarantee that Swiss expats can open accounts with major financial institutions – banks considered “too big to fail”.

Both motions require approval by the two parliamentary chambers.

It is the latest political attempt to improve conditions for Swiss citizens living outside the country. The community has been the target of excessive fees over the past decade.

The Council of the Swiss Abroad has repeatedly called on the government, the Swiss Banking Association and the banking regulator to find a solution to the problems, the OSA said in a statement.

Previous efforts in parliament have failed, prompting outrage among the Swiss Abroad community.

At the end of last year, there were nearly 775,000 registered Swiss citizens living across the world, notably in neighbouring France, Germany and Italy, but also in the United States.

swissinfo.ch/urs


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