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Swiss bankers discuss tax and banking secrecy in Brussels

Urs Roth is leading talks with EU officials

(Keystone Archive)

A delegation from the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) is in Brussels for an exchange of views with European Union officials on subjects including tax harmonisation and banking secrecy.

During their two-day visit, the 12-member delegation plans to discuss taxation on cross-border savings and bank customer confidentiality with EU officials.

The visit comes as Switzerland and the EU are due to begin negotiations on fiscal savings. The EU has initiated a project aimed at taxing interest earned on foreign savings accounts.

The SBA has refused to join the EU project, which also includes standardising the exchange of information between European nations by 2010.

The director of the SBA's executive committee, Urs Roth, has stood firmly behind the idea that banking secrecy is non-negotiable.

In addition, the SBA has stressed that Switzerland should not be singled out, and that the same rules should be applied to all countries including the United States, Liechtenstein, Monaco and others.

In a statement, Roth said the delegation's visit to Brussels is aimed discussing and clarifying the Swiss banking sector's position regarding financial matters relating to the EU.

Secondly, they hope to gather information about "recent developments within the European Union".

The SBA's executive committee "International Financial Centre Switzerland" was founded this summer. Its function is to ensure optimum conditions for Swiss banks to conduct their work and provide services to their customers.

swissinfo with agencies


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