Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Swiss bank secrecy vs. Anglo-Saxon secrecy

Our old "friend" Konrad Hummler, the fire-breathing President of the Swiss Private Bankers' Association, has been in action today. He's issued a statement to some journalists (unfortunately we can't find a web link; this was e-mailed to us) that seems to be a riposte to comments by politicians such as the UK's Alistair Darling attacking Switzerland.

The private press release, issued by Hummler's bank Wegelin & Co, talks about Hummler:

"He (Hummler) believes it is unacceptable that large, floundering economies, which have pumped billions of dollars and Euros into their financial systems in an apparently fruitless attempt to save them, are now fear-mongering about the demise of Swiss banking secrecy simply to distract from their own problems.

The very parties perpetuating the myth of Switzerland as a hub of evil financial dealings are tight-lipped about their own trusts on the British Channel Islands and in the Caribbean. The USA would do well to drain the financial swamps in its own backyard (Delaware and Florida) before embarking on crusades against Switzerland."

Well, although we don't like what he does, not at all, and we'd point out that this is also an attempt to distract from Switzerland's involvement in the vast scale marketing of corruption services, his point about the British Channel Islands and the Caribbean is well made. As we've recently said. The Wegelin release ends:

"While Konrad Hummler accepts that tax and banking secrecy issues need to be debated, he suggests excessive moralising, of the kind that is currently being practised by the EU and the USA, is potentially explosive. If Switzerland were to hold up a mirror, this deeply patronising tone could backfire."


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