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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

Switzerland A Step Closer On Corporate Tax Reform
Friday 21/9/2018
The two houses of Switzerland's parliament have said that they are largely in agreement on the main points of the Government's proposed changes to the corporation tax system.

Australian PM Planning New SME Tax Changes
Tuesday 4/9/2018
Australia's new Prime Minister has said his Government is working on plans to help improve the tax competitiveness of small businesses.

Netherlands Ponders New Aviation Tax
Monday 16/7/2018
The Dutch Government has begun a public consultation exercise on plans to introduce a new tax on air travel by 2021.

Australian Tax Changes Effective From July 1
Friday 6/7/2018
The Australian Government has set out the numerous changes made to the tax system on July 1 and launched a consultation on new tax rules for "stapled structures."

IMF Urges US To Hike Indirect Taxes
Friday 6/7/2018
The International Monetary Fund has recommended that the United States raise indirect taxes to boost revenues, to offset the cost of recent tax cuts and spending increases.

Pakistani Tax Amnesties Extended Until July 31
Monday 9/7/2018
Pakistan's Government has approved a one-month extension to tax amnesties for companies and individuals, which were due to end on June 30, 2018.

OECD Welcomes Dutch Efforts To Counter BEPS
Wednesday 4/7/2018
The OECD has welcomed efforts by the Dutch Government to tackle base erosion and profit shifting but called for the overall tax regime to be simplified, including in area of value-added tax.

Australian Gov't Delays Company Tax Vote
Sunday 1/7/2018
The Australian Government is to postpone a Senate vote on its company tax cuts until after July's by-elections.

Skilled Foreigners Being Turned Away For UK Visas
Monday 18/6/2018
Lower-paid medical practitioners are increasingly having their request for UK working visas rejected, as a result of immigration quotas.

Seychelles Introduces Progressive PIT Regime
Thursday 21/6/2018
The Seychelles introduced a new progressive income tax system for individuals on June 1, 2018.