【英语财经】瑞士告别银行保密传统 Swiss sign up to tax evasion fight in break with bank privacy code

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2014-5-7 06:35

小艾摘要: Switzerland, the world’s largest offshore financial centre, has pledged to automatically hand back the details of foreign accounts to other countries in one of the most significant breakthroughs in t ...
Swiss sign up to tax evasion fight in break with bank privacy code
Switzerland, the world’s largest offshore financial centre, has pledged to automatically hand back the details of foreign accounts to other countries in one of the most significant breakthroughs in the global crackdown on tax evasion.

At a meeting of European finance ministers in Paris yesterday, Switzerland agreed to sign up to a new global standard on automatic information exchange in a decisive break with its centuries-old commitment to protecting the privacy of banking clients.

The move is a big step forward for governments that have mounted a concerted attack on evasion in the wake of the global financial crisis and a series of tax scandals.

Swiss co-operation is pivotal to the struggle to prise open taxpayers’ hidden accounts because of its long tradition of bank secrecy and its dominant wealth management sector, which has $2.2tn of offshore assets.

The declaration, signed at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, requires countries to collect and exchange information on bank accounts, the beneficial ownership of companies and other legal structures, such as trusts. The Swiss government said the agreement underscored its commitment to tackling tax fraud and evasion.

The Swiss Bankers Association said: “The banks in Switzerland are willing to adopt the automatic exchange of information along with other financial centres, provided that the exchanged information is only applied for tax purposes.”

Switzerland is joining at least 44 nations in signing the agreement, which includes other OECD members, the G20 group of leading countries and offshore centres such as the Cayman Islands and Jersey. The global standard has been developed by the OECD and endorsed by the G20.

The remaining offshore centres are expected to come under pressure to co-operate. A blacklist of countries that do not sign up to transparency measures is likely to be drawn up by the OECD this year.

Some offshore account holders are believed to have moved their money to the handful of centres, such as Panama and Dubai, that have resisted the transparency drive.

世界最大的离岸金融中心瑞士承诺,将自动向其他国家交出外国人账户的详细资料。这是全球打击逃税举措的最重大突破之一。

在昨天于巴黎举行的欧洲财长会议上,瑞士同意签署一项有关自动交换信息的全球新标准。这是一次决定性的举措,象征着瑞士告别几百年来坚持保护银行客户隐私的做法。

这对各国政府而言是巨大的进步。在全球金融危机和一连串税务丑闻后,它们发起了一场联合打击逃税的行动。

如果要“撬开”纳税人的隐秘账户,瑞士的配合至关重要,因为该国为银行客户保密的传统由来已久,而且它的财富管理行业也很庞大,总共管理着2.2万亿美元的离岸资产。

这份在巴黎经合组织(OECD)签署的宣言要求各国收集并交换银行账户信息、公司的实益拥有权及其他法律结构(如信托)。瑞士政府表示,协议突显出它整治税务欺诈和逃税的决心。

瑞士银行家协会(Swiss Bankers Association)表示:“只要所交换信息仅与税收目的有关,瑞士的银行愿意与其他金融中心自动交换信息。”

与瑞士一起签署协议的还有至少44个国家,其中包括其他经合组织国家、G20成员国以及开曼群岛和泽西岛等离岸中心。这项全球性标准由经合组织制定,并得到G20支持。

其他离岸中心预计将面临施压,被要求配合。经合组织今年可能列出一份不签署信息透明协议国家的黑名单。

据信,一些离岸账户户主已将资金转移到少数几个抵制透明举措的离岸中心,如巴拿马和迪拜。

译者/徐天辰

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