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Navigating the global offshore money maze

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swissinfo.ch business correspondent Matthew Allen is keeping track of the revelations and responses to the Offshore Leaks story. Find him on Twitter @matthewallen40 to weigh in with questions or comments.

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Swiss dig in heels

This content was published on In an interview with Le Temps newspaper on Saturday, Widmer-Schlumpf pointed out that the US and many countries in Asia were also resistent to the idea. Instead, Switzerland has set up a working group to grind out the fine details of how to implement its “weissgeld” – or “clean money” – strategy, designed to weed…

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Swiss banks are not for turning – much

This content was published on Thatcher famously turned down demands for greater integration with the EU with the response: “No, no, no”. The Swiss Bankers Association has given more or less the same response to an EU demand for the automatic exchange for tax information. “Automatic exchange of information with the EU is not an option for the banks in Switzerland…

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Another brick in the wall

This content was published on The secretive, highly layered and multi-jurisdictional trust fund industry has attracted bad headlines ever since the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists uncovered a documentary trail of trusts that led from Singapore to the British Virgin Islands. The inference behind those headlines is that trusts are being used to launder criminal funds and dodge taxes –…

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Swiss schadenfreude

This content was published on “I’m glad that for once other financial centres are also being discussed,” she told Swiss public radio on Monday. “We expect all tax havens around the world to be treated equally.” Thanks to a heap of offshore secrets being unearthed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a whole range of jurisdictions – from the Cook…

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Boot on the other foot

This content was published on Now, with details of global offshore secrets emerging in the media, it might be Switzerland’s turn to fire a few volleys back at the international community, starting with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). There has been a chorus of comment to this effect from politicians and finance officials. “We should put pressure…

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Skating on thin ice

This content was published on Only a few hundred legal experts out of around 9,000 lawyers in Switzerland are actively engaged in the operation, according to the SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche Sunday newspapers. But, unlike banks, their activities in the financial world are largely untouched by regulators, allowing them to work under the radar, the newspapers add. This niche group of…

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Government keeps mum, banks play defense

This content was published on The government’s passivity could have to do with the fact that Switzerland was only minimally impacted by the revelations in the grand scheme of things, as the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) stated on Friday. SIF, which is attached to the finance ministry, also said the leaks confirm that Swiss financial policies are…

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Tax paradise lost

This content was published on  “The baroness, the playboy and her discreet lawyers” might sound like something by Rosamunde Pilcher, but it was the title of a full-page article in Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger explaining how Switzerland helped people like former beauty queen turned euroroyal Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza place their money in tax shelters. Another name that popped up in the paper…

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Naming & shaming

This content was published on The media were treated this week to the appetizer of former French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac finally admitting to his secret Swiss bank account stash. But an outpouring of names from a new source is putting the spotlight on many more prominent personalities. As far as Switzerland is concerned, the name of German photographer, playboy and heir…

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Scratching the surface

This content was published on “This is the biggest exposé so far into the offshore system, but it represents merely a glimpse of the overall picture,” Berne Declaration spokesman Andreas Missbach told swissinfo.ch. “It provides details of two service providers [in Singapore and the British Virgin Islands], but there are hundreds out there.” Whether this particular iceberg tip will be…

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A drop in the ocean

This content was published on The fact is that Swiss entities represent just 0.05% of the global agents soon to be revealed as members of an international web of tax abuse. The Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has a 260 gigabyte haul of data implicating 122,000 trusts and other shady structures set up by 12,000 financial intermediaries in…

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