Landmark agreements with UK and Germany.

Fonction News

In a final coup-de-grace during his last days in office, former-Finance Minister and Federal Councillor Hans-Rudolf Merz negotiated compromises with both the British and German governments, drawing a line under a long-running dispute over banking secrecy that was threatening Switzerland's future as a financial centre.


Cash-strapped EU governments had long been calling for the Swiss government to sign up to an EU-wide deal, allowing automatic cross-border sharing of financial information; a move that could potentially net EU states billions in taxation on undeclared Swiss accounts belonging to their citizens, but also one that would have been the death knell for private banking in Switzerland. The Swiss government, meanwhile, opposed any such move; seeing it as a violation of the nation's fundamental principles of trust and protecting an individual's right to privacy.

In what the Neue Zurcher Zeitung called "a remarkable result for Swiss diplomacy", Merz appears to have finally broken the deadlock, paving the way for agreements based on Switzerland deducting tax...

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