Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Swiss banks plan new tax

NEVA, Nov 15 – Switzerland\’s secretive banks are considering landmark plans to require that their foreign clients conform to personal taxation requirements abroad, a leading banker said in an interview on Sunday.

Patrick Odier, head of the Swiss bankers\’ association and a senior partner at private bank Lombard Odier, told the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that the industry was studying such a step alongside more extensive taxation on foreign savers in Switzerland.

"I also want to go a step further," Odier was quoted as saying.

"We, the banks, must introduce a new business model where tax honesty is the goal when new money is taken in," he said, adding that such an approach must "clearly" be the focus of future business activities.

"We\’re still working on the details. It could, for example, take the form of a personal declaration: the client would confirm with his signature that his money is properly taxed."

"We want to work out a really credible solution," he added.

However, Odier said such a step could only apply to countries that enter into a bilateral agreement with the Swiss.

Swiss banks have been at the heart of a renewed international pressure in recent years over tax evasion, including bruising multi-billion dollar litigation against the country\’s biggest bank UBS in the United States.

Neighbouring European countries and the G20 group of leading economies have claimed that Switzerland\’s banking secrecy law encourages foreign clients to hide their revenue from domestic tax authorities in Swiss bank accounts.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The NZZ am Sonntag said that Odier\’s comments marked a "new tone" and signalled a "radical change in course" in the Swiss banking industry\’s approach to foreign clients.

Traditionally, some Swiss banks have been prone to turn a blind eye on a foreign client\’s tax affairs, while local legal firms were more likely to offer "tax optimisation" services for wealthy clients.

In recent years Switzerland has levied a withholding tax on interest earned by EU residents with Swiss savings accounts, under an agreement to pay part of the revenues back to the European Union.

However, loopholes in the agreement have been criticised, while the deal only applies to savings accounts, not other investments.


Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...