Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Switzerland's dirty game - a local view

From Mark Herkenrath of Alliance Sud, in Switzerland. He's clearly speaking from the heart - and rightly so.

"A striking example of how the tax evasion industry operates - and of the role of Switzerland in this dirty game...

In the Financial Times supplement "How to Spend It" (Issue 256, Feb 19), Knight Frank LLP and Swiss Development Group SA advertise luxury apartments in a beautiful historical building in the Swiss canton of Vaud, open for sale only to wealthy foreigners. These are attracted with the following text:

"...Switzerland is unique among countries for offering a high sensitivity towards wealth in an incomparably refined setting. .... With a top income rate of 50 per cent in London, coupled with heavy handed regulations planned by the European Union, many ... are leaving for abroad ..." Et cetera, et cetera. (Click to enlarge the image.)

On their website, you'll find that the site is located "in the UNESCO protected vineyards of the Lavaux". It is managed by Kempinski-Private Residences, who "along side Swiss Development Group and Banque Piguet & Cie SA will offer buyers tailor-made advice for relocation, tax advice and wealth management". How convenient!

Other partners of this tax brothel project include the Montreux Jazz Festival (ouch!) and Bank Sarasin, which states on its website that it "is keen to actively meet its responsibility towards society and has set itself objectives for relationships with social partners"

How nice!

Bank Sarasin, by the way, has just launched a new trust company in Singapore, which will provide "discretionary trusts (providing trusteeships for full protection trusts, tailor-made, holding liquid and non-liquid assets) and insurance trusts (holding life insurance policies only), as well ascorporate services, providing the management of offshore companies".

How lovely!


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