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Introduction: The Swiss Association of Trust Companies

The Swiss Association of Trust Companies was officially launched in September, 2007, in Zurich and Geneva, in a bid 'to encourage the professional and ethical development of an industry in full expansion in Switzerland'.

The trust business is witnessing rapid growth in Switzerland, having more than doubled in size over the past five years. In 2007, as previously stated, Switzerland ratified the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition.

The primary objective of the association was to encourage the growth of the trust industry while upholding a high standard of quality, integrity, and professionalism. SATC has already enacted its bylaws and a code of ethics and conduct that members undertake to observe. It also aims to encourage the federal bodies to develop a set of specific rules applicable to trust companies that complements the existing regulations under the Swiss anti-money laundering regulations, drawing inspiration from SATC’s professional qualification criteria for membership and from the principles contained in its code of ethics and conduct. SATC will therefore also act as a partner for dialogue with the Swiss government.

The Swiss Association of Trust Companies comprises twelve founding members whose primary activity is trust administration and who illustrate the diversity of this industry in Switzerland: small and large, independent or bank-owned companies which are active in various regions of the country. They are: Barclaytrust (Suisse) SA, Bonhôte Trust SA, Cantrade Trustee Ltd, Close Trustees (Switzerland) SA, Experta AG, Investec Trust (Switzerland) SA, KENDRIS private AG, Paicolex Trust Management AG, Quiltrust Ltd, Rothschild Trust (Switzerland) AG, Settlements SA and VALUEworks. The Association expects to grow rapidly.

The initial Committee was comprised of Kecia Barkawi-Hauser, VALUEworks (President), Xavier Isaac, Investec Trust (Switzerland) SA (Vice President), Adrian Escher, KENDRIS private AG (Treasurer), Mark Barmes, Settlements SA, and Daniel Martineau, Close Trustees (Switzerland) SA, (Members).

An advisory board was also established, composed of leading professionals mainly from the trust industry. Professor Luc Thévenoz, Professor at the University of Geneva’s Centre for Banking and Finance Law and Member of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission is one of its members, along with Stephanie Jarrett, attorney and partner with the law firm Baker & McKenzie, Geneva, and Vice-Chairman of the Suisse-Romande Branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

The project for founding this association was conceived almost two years previously by two of the Swiss branches of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. STEP, which brings together more than 700 individual members within Switzerland, is particularly focused on professional training and development for the trust professionals making up its membership. SATC intends to complement STEP and plans to unite trust companies of a sound reputation operating in Switzerland.

According to Kecia Barkawi-Hauser, President of SATC, Switzerland is a very favourable market for trusts: “The status Switzerland enjoys as an international financial market, the proximity to private banks, internationally renowned management and investment companies, along with the resulting synergies, all represent a major asset for the growth of the trust industry in this country. Furthermore, Switzerland benefits from an extremely qualified, multilingual and multicultural workforce that proves particularly valuable to trust activities. In this context, SATC will provide trust companies in Switzerland with an industry association devoted to best standards."

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas Barbados Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cook Islands Cyprus Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Liechtenstein Madeira Malta Mauritius Monaco Nevis New Zealand Panama Seychelles Turks & Caicos Vanuatu


Offshore Trusts News

Belgian Lawmakers Approve New Tax On Securities Trading
Monday 22/2/2021
At a plenary session on February 11, 2021, Belgium's parliament adopted a draft law for a new annual tax on securities accounts.

US Tax Season Begins
Monday 22/2/2021
The Internal Revenue Service launched tax season for individuals on February 15, 2021, highlighting the various supports available for taxpayers when preparing their returns.

Dutch Senate Approves 2021 Tax Changes
Tuesday 22/12/2020
The Dutch Senate has approved the 2021 Tax Plan package, which introduces a lower rate of corporate tax for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Bermuda Consults Industry On New Conduct Of Business Regime
Wednesday 13/1/2021
The Bermuda Monetary Authority on December 15, 2020, released a new consultation paper on its proposal for a conduct of business regulatory regime to better protect retail investors.

UK Eyeing VAT Rule Changes For Sharing Economy
Tuesday 22/12/2020
The UK Government is inviting input on the tax challenges associated with the rise of the sharing economy.

French Legislature Considering 2021 Finance Bill
Thursday 10/12/2020
France's Senate is considering the country's 2021 Finance Bill, following approval in late November by the National Assembly.

UK May Double Capital Gains Tax Burden
Tuesday 17/11/2020
More closely aligning UK capital gains tax (CGT) rates with income tax rates could raise significant revenues for the UK, a government-commissioned review has concluded.

Malta Releases 2021 Budget
Monday 2/11/2020
Malta's 2021 Budget, announced on October 19, 2020, included tax breaks for individuals and an increase to the VAT registration threshold.

OECD Indicates New Focus On Virtual Currency Tax Issues
Tuesday 20/10/2020
The OECD has released a new report on countries' tax rules for virtual currencies, alongside an announcement that the Common Reporting Standard will be expanded next year to newly cover virtual currency assets.

UK Updates Brexit VAT Guidance For Imported Goods
Tuesday 20/10/2020
On October 5, 2020, the UK tax authority added considerably to its Brexit guidance for businesses on the value-added tax rules that will apply to goods entering Great Britain from outside the UK.