I find it interesting the hyperbole that is surrounding this topic. For example, this posting on swissinfo.ch says that the president of Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court is looking to Parliament to resovle the issue of "whether tax evasion was a criminal offence." The reference is the interface of the Swiss law with the exchange of information provision in the double tax treaty with the U.S. The interesting quote is:
Bandli stressed that the cabinet was not the proper body to make that decision, which would effectively quash the principle of banking secrecy.As I read this, the startling claim is that Swiss bank secrecy is all about enabling depositors to evade tax in other countries. I would have thought that there are plenty of rogues and brigands who have nontax reasons to hide assets (people do find other ways than tax to cheat and steal) and that Switzerland would continue to be a safe haven for them. But, of course, enabling depositors to cheat the fiscs of other countries is a major part of Swiss banks business. So, opening the kimono for tax cheats could have a major economic effect on Switzerland's ability to charge more for services than they are worth without the value added service of assisting them to cheat on their taxes.