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Parliament wants to make Switzerland attractive for big money

The House of Representatives wants Switzerland to be a more attractive financial centre. It backed calls to scrap stamp duty on shares and bonds, leading to a SFr500 million revenue loss. But the Social Democrats are threatening to call a referendum.

This content was published on March 16, 2000 - 22:48

The House of Representatives wants to make Switzerland a more attractive financial centre. The House backed calls to scrap stamp duty on the trading of shares and bonds. This will lead to a loss of revenue of around SFr500 million. However, the Social Democrats are threatening to call a referendum over the issue.

They say they will call for a nationwide vote, unless the banking sector organises some kind of compensation to make up the shortfall in revenue. The party president, Ursula Koch, said the move should not be allowed to benefit the bankers and speculators.

But centre-right parties say the measures were needed for Switzerland's financial market to remain competitive with other major centres like London. They also said the trading of Swiss bonds and shares should stay in the country rather than in foreign financial centres like Luxembourg and London, and that a partial lifting of the tax would go towards addressing that issue.

The House voted 107 votes to 58 for the cabinet to come up with a proposal by September, to do away with stamp duty on shares and bonds.

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