Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Swiss Offshore Bank Solution Drags On - the Swiss Way (6/13/13)

According to reports, Switzerland continues to drag its feet on a solution with the U.S.  The reports come fast and furious, although, from my perspective, mostly cumulative information, some incremental information, but no break-throughs.  Switzerland has been stymying the process for some time now, so I guess we should not be surprised.  I have seen little use posting daily information about the foot-dragging, but every now and then I will, as I do today, just as a reminder, that should it continue, we might expect some action from the U.S.   

Reuters has this posting.  Katharina Bart, Swiss upper house backs U.S. tax deal to protect banks (Reuters 1/12/13), here.  Excerpts are :
The protection of client information has helped to make Switzerland the world's biggest offshore financial center, with $2 trillion in assets. But that haven has come under fire as other countries have sought to plug budget deficits by clamping down on tax evasion, with authorities probing Swiss banks in Germany and France as well as the United States. 
* * * * 
The bill would allow banks to hand over information and strike settlement deals with U.S. prosecutors, which one lawmaker called a "choice between the plague and cholera." Such deals would avert the threat of criminal prosecution, but are still expected to include heavy fines that could cost the industry as much as $10 billion. 
* * * * 
The legislation approved by the upper house would pave the way for Swiss banks to disclose their U.S. dealings, including names of bank staff and third parties such as accountants and tax lawyers who helped Americans to evade taxes. 
Banks will still not be allowed to hand over client names - protected by the Swiss secrecy law of 1934 - but the proposal, valid for a year only, would allow banks to hand over so much information on customers' behavior that U.S. officials should be able to identify American tax dodgers. 
The Swiss government has warned that the United States could indict another bank, a move seen as the death knell for virtually any business. Lawmakers were swayed by concern U.S. prosecutors could indict one of the state-backed cantonal banks in their constituency.


  1. Instead of threatening Switzerland with blackmail while accusing it of "drag its feet", it would make more sense for the US to be transparent with its demands.

  2. Jack, try to stay neutral with your comments about CH otherwise face the reality
    Congressman Devin Nunes said that the US should abandon corporate income
    tax in order to “make the US the largest tax haven in human history.”
    Congressman Nunes may not be well known internationally, but he is the
    co-chair of one of 11 tax reform working groups convened by Ways &
    Means Committee members Sandy Levin and Dave Camp, which are
    collectively tasked with preparing a report on the best way forward for
    the US tax system.10

    Nunes’ comments echo sentiments by his more
    well-known fellow Ways & Means Committee member and 2012
    vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who in 2010 said:
    We need
    to have a tax system that makes America a haven for capital formation.
    Let’s make this country a tax shelter for other countries instead of
    having other countries be a tax shelter for America. This would
    ultimately raise revenues and promote economic growth. 11

    Ryan at the same time expressed his belief that “there must be a
    decrease in the amount of tax shelters for people to park their income
    overseas.” If there is a coherent message here, it is that the United
    States should try to gain a competitive advantage by becoming a tax
    haven while preventing foreign countries from doing the same. That
    suggests that despite the language in Article 7, America’s FATCA
    partners should probably not count on receiving “equivalent levels of
    reciprocal automatic information exchange” any time soon.

    “the three jurisdictions holding the largest amount of non-resident
    deposits are the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Cayman
    Islands,” with the US leading with over $2 trillion in private,
    non-resident deposits.
    Moreover, the United States ranks No. 1 on the Financial Secrecy Index,
    which “identifies the jurisdictions that are most aggressive in
    providing secrecy in international finance and which most actively shun
    co-operation with other jurisdictions.”20

    This puts the United
    States in “the role of Switzerland” for other countries,21 and
    particularly has allowed the state of Delaware to become “the best place
    to hide wealth”:22
    One of the smallest states in the US, it offers the best protection for
    anyone who does not want to disclose their identity as a beneficial
    owner of a company. That is one very good reason why the East Coast
    state hosts 50 per cent of the US’s quoted firms and 650,000 companies –
    almost equivalent to one company per Delaware resident.
    – the political power-base of the US vice-president, Joe Biden – offers
    high levels of banking secrecy and does not make details of trusts,
    company accounts and beneficial ownership a matter of public record.
    Delaware also allows companies to re-domicile within its borders with
    minimal disclosure, and allows the existence of privacy-enhancing
    “protected cell” or “segregated portfolio” companies, among many other
    stratagems useful for protecting the identity of those who do business

  3. The Swiss economy commission of the federal council just voted against US
    blackmail by 16 to 9, but will accept the undisputed parts of the law (employee protection, management penalties):

  4. SeniorResearcherJune 14, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Jack you have proven again to everybody what an overpaid MORON you are ! GFY !

  5. They're dragging their feet because the US deal is one-sided. The US wants information and money but is not offering to offer information about foreign deposits in US banks to the EU, Latin America, China or Russia, nor is it attempting to make major US banks pay fines to those countries because their citizens have undeclared funds/income in the US.

  6. Could you be more specific about your complaint? The purpose of comments is, hopefully, to further the discussion for my benefit as well as for the benefit of readers. I encourage you to offer constructive engagement with anything I say on this blog rather than ad hominens.

    Still, I will leave your ad hominem up so that, hopefully, you will engagement and support your position with something constructive.

    Jack Townsend

  7. SeniorResearcherJune 15, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    Jack, up yours !

  8. SeniorResearcherJune 15, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    why don`t you release the initial post - that started everything - from me regarding your uneducated comments about CH ? Because your are a MORON ! I certainly will not waste my time trying to educate you on global issues - lol....remember it has not been too long ago that americans were living in teepees and tents !

  9. SeniorResearcherJune 15, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Jack please do all us a favor and admit that you are part of the problem and certainly not part of the solution with regards to VD,QD,OVDI,OVDP ! People like you disgust me !!

    LOL....Have a nice life ahh who am I kidding, I hope you get hit by a moving truck.

  10. SeniorResearcherJune 16, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Jack, it is clear to all of us that you do not get it ... read my first post and get your nose out of your ass !


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