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Switzerland bring about draft rules on secrecy

12Switzerland government has issued two draft laws that would virtually remove secrecy for offshore accounts and allow the automatic exchange of an account-holder’s information with foreign tax authorities. As major Swiss banks came under pressure from the US and paid fines for allegedly helping tax evaders, the Swiss government in 2013 said it would adopt the automatic exchange of information, provided it becomes the global standard. A government statement said the global standard creates a level playing field for all financial centers around the world and for Switzerland, this means that tax-related banking secrecy will no longer apply for clients from abroad. Furthermore, Switzerland will be less vulnerable internationally. The laws implement the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) convention on assistance in tax matters and separate act on procedure on exchanging data. The government expects comments from interested parties on the drafts until 21 April. The laws will then go to parliament to be voted upon in the autumn and winter sessions

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