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Swiss banks secrecy to end

View profile for Christopher Buck
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Private banks in Switzerland are known for being used by the wealthy people of the world in essence to evade tax. However, since the global financial crisis, tens of billions of dollars have been removed from these accounts in a flurry to protect themselves and their sensitive information from exposure.

There is real concern that the safeguards to be implemented by Switzerland’s financial industry expose clients to the risk of becoming subject to crimes such as kidnapping and blackmail. This is an anticipated result of the banks contacting foreign tax agencies with the details of their customers’ accounts.

The Chairman of the Association of Swiss Private Banks, Yves Mirabaud, who is also the senior managing partner of Genevan bank, Mirabaud, voiced concerns that "[d]ata could be sold or used to put pressure on clients or their families”.

Yves went on to confirm that the main concern is “countries where we're not very sure that the democratic process is the same as ours, or where corruption is very high." Where corruption is rife, it is viewed that there is more risk of data falling into the wrong hands and serious crimes being committed.

Sensitive information is due to be exchanged between Switzerland and 38 tax agencies in 2018, with a further 41 to become recipients of such information in 2019.

Data protection is being recognised as more and more important, especially with the impending implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in May 2018.

Should you wish to review any further information in respect of the GDPR please do read my previous article. If you should have any additional queries in respect of the GDPR, or data protection in general, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01908 660966 or alternatively at