Banking secrecy will not go to nationwide vote

The head of the Lega, Giuliano Bignasca, has had no success with the initiative Keystone

The Swiss will not be voting on a proposal to anchor banking secrecy in Switzerland’s constitution.

This content was published on October 12, 2010 - 12:35 and agencies

The federal authorities said the rightwing Lega dei Ticinesi party failed to hand in the required number of signatures – at least 100,000 - by the deadline of October 1.

Earlier this year, supporters of the people’s initiative said they had managed to collect just over a half of the signatures necessary to force a nationwide on the issue.

They had hoped for support, in particular, from the rightwing Swiss People’s Party but this was not forthcoming.

Instead the People’s Party had tried to anchor banking secrecy in the constitution by means of a parliamentary initiative.

The Lega’s initiative, Defend Switzerland! Banking Secrecy must be put into the Constitution, demanded that everyone having business relations with a bank in Switzerland should have the right to confidentiality.

It further called for approval from bank clients before information was passed to authorities abroad.

Switzerland’s banking secrecy, which the banks prefer to call bank client confidentiality, has been watered down over the past two years as a result of pressure from the G-20 finance ministers, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and United States tax authorities.

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