Switzerland may finalise tax-treaty with Britain soon

Switzerland May Reach a Deal with Britain To Share Bank Account Details of Britons

Switzerland May Reach a Deal with Britain To Share Bank Account Details of Britons

Patrick Odier, head of Swiss banking association, was hopeful of striking a deal with Britain in the next few weeks, reported Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung on Sunday.

The announcement comes close to a recent tax deal struck between Germany and Switzerland that will force Switzerland clean up its secretive banking system and earn Berlin billions of dollars in taxes.

Though certain important issues remain unresolved, talks with Britain are at an advanced stage, Odier said.

“I have no doubt that we will strike a deal with Britain very soon. I hope that the conclusion comes in the coming weeks,” Odier said to the newspaper.

The German deal had a “signaling effect” on Italy and France and negotiations with these countries may be initiated soon, Odier added.

The German deal will cost Swiss banks 500 million Francs. “I am sure that other countries in Europe will also say that they would like to reach a deal with Switzerland,” Odier added.

In 2009, Swiss government was forced to cooperate with the US after authorities started initiated investigations against UBS and the Swiss government handed over details of 4,450 account holders to escape a damaging lawsuit. The US government is now investigating Credit Suisse.

When asked about to comment on the difficulties faced by Swiss banks in America, Odier said “We would welcome it if Switzerland and the United States were able to start talks quickly for a global solution.”

Claude-Alain Margelisch, chief executive of the Swiss Bankers Association, said the newspaper that the British deal will have similar withholding tax rates as prevalent in mainland UK.

Margelisch did not rule out the possibility of Switzerland handing over more account details to the US government in the future.

“The Americans want client details. If this is delivered, then it clearly has to be done within the legal framework,” Margelisch said.

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