Tuesday, May 07, 2013

No, Swiss bankers have not dropped opposition to automatic information exchange

Reuters have an article headlined Swiss bankers drop opposition to information exchange.

No, they haven't. And we know this from a short sentence in the story, citing Patrick Odier, head of the Swiss Bankers' Association:
"We should no longer categorically reject an automatic exchange of information," he said. "But it should be introduced globally." 
It's that bit in bold that is the give-away.  In other words, we won't do anything until everyone else has. Which, snigger snigger, will never happen. This is the classic 'level playing field argument' that we at TJN have seen time and time again, as justification for inaction. This tweet from a Jersey politician, in response to the Reuters story, tends to agree:

The one glimmer of hope here is that Swiss bankers are now recognising that their previous position is becoming politically untenable. So they are making a tactical shift, to make their secrecy argument less visible and harder to counter in debate. Make no mistake: this is a shift: a slight retreat under extreme pressure. But it is not one to write home about.

Oh, and Swiss bank UBS is now supposedly asking its clients to guarantee that they aren't evading taxes.

Well that will make a difference.


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