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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

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UK Urged To Push Back Making Tax Digital Agenda
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In a new report released on November 22, 2018, the UK's Economic Affairs Committee called for a one-year delay to the implementation date of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Germany's Bundestag Approves VAT Reforms
Friday 16/11/2018
Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, has approved the introduction of new value-added tax rules for online marketplaces.

UK To Shutter Second Home Tax Avoidance 'Loophole'
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The UK Government has announced its intention to tackle the use of a commercial property tax (business rates) exemption, intended only for small businesses, by second-home owners to avoid paying residential property tax (Council Tax) on those homes.

UK Announces Digital Tax, Corporate Tax Reforms In New Budget
Friday 2/11/2018
The UK's 2018 Budget includes changes to tax rules for companies, and notably for multinational groups to conform with the EU's Anti Tax Avoidance Directive. Most significantly, the UK has decided to move ahead of the EU in announcing that it will apply a tax on the turnover of certain digital businesses.

Jersey Tables Legislation For New Economic Substance Rules
Monday 29/10/2018
The Jersey Government has announced that it will release for public consultation guidance notes on the introduction of a new economic substance requirement for certain taxpayers to access Jersey's tax regime.

Australian SME Tax Cuts Now Law
Monday 29/10/2018
Legislation to reduce Australia's small business tax rate received Royal Assent on October 25.

Canada To Push Ahead With Carbon Tax Plans
Monday 29/10/2018
Canada's federal Government has announced that it will impose a carbon price in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in 2019.

EU Tells Italy To Revise 2019 Budget Plan
Friday 26/10/2018
On October 23, 2018, the European Commission issued a request to the Italian Government that it revise its draft budgetary plan for 2019 because it breaches European Union fiscal rules.