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Which way out of the crisis?

Should Switzerland hold tight and stand firm when it comes to banking secrecy, or should it introduce the automatic exchange of client data, thereby signaling an end to the country’s hallmark practice?

For years, the Swiss financial sector has been under pressure from abroad. Banking secrecy and Swiss banks’ role in tax evasion have been at the heart of that pressure, especially from the US.

Switzerland would like to solve the problem with a withholding tax, but it’s been unable to broadly implement such a model. Demands for the automatic exchange of client data are in the air. Is there a way out of the crisis?

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Banking data debate offers no easy answers

This content was published on So far, the answer has lain in taxing Swiss bank account holders at a fixed rate to preserve banking secrecy while ensuring they don’t evade taxes. But, Germany has officially rejected that model, and France calls it “amnesty for tax evaders”. Only Austria and Britain have signed withholding tax agreements with the Swiss. For years,…

Read more: Banking data debate offers no easy answers

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR