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Swiss Bankers Urge Care In Information Exchange

Monday, September 18, 2017

The CEO of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) has stressed that confidentiality, data security, and data protection requirements must be complied with when the automatic exchange of tax information gets underway.

Claude-Alain Margelisch argued that there should also be a "number of security mechanisms in place that protect customers and their information" when the new rules enter into force.

Margelisch said that the SBA welcomes the announcement of a proposed federal decree which will provide a control mechanism for the automatic exchange of information. The Swiss Federal Council intends to prepare a situation report before the first exchanges of data, which are planned for the autumn of 2019. The Council will check whether the states and territories concerned meet the required standards, and in particular those for confidentiality and data security.

Margelisch said that control should be exercised "very carefully on a practical, case-by-case basis according to clear criteria." He added that the exchange of information should be suspended if there is reason to suspect the improper application of the rules.

Margelisch also called for Switzerland to continue to push for the universal application of the new rules on the automatic exchange of information, stressing that "a global network for the exchange of tax-relevant information only makes sense if all key financial centers implement the same standards." Should they fail to do so, loopholes would emerge and those jurisdictions who do not participate in the "network" would gain an unfair advantage.