Aid agencies make case against banking secrecy

Aid organisations from countries currently defending banking secrecy laws say their governments need to change course in the interest of helping developing nations.

This content was published on June 16, 2009 - 11:34

With a meeting in Berlin among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) unfolding later this month, aid organisations from Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria united on Tuesday to argue the benefits behind an automatic exchange of banking data.

Groups including Alliance Sud, an association of Swiss development agencies, say that wealthier nations should provide immediate administrative assistance to developing countries in tax matters by creating a type of most-favoured-nation status for them.

Peter Niggli, director of Alliance Sud, said any concessions made on granting administrative assistance in tax cases between the United States and the European Union should extend to all countries.

Developing countries should also step up their fight against tax evasion, the agencies said, while multinational corporations should provide a country-by-country breakdown of their balance sheets.

OECD ministers plan to meet informally on June 23 in Germany to discuss fiscal policy.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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