EU, Switzerland Sign Agreement Ending Bank Secrecy

World » EU | May 27, 2015, Wednesday // 13:49
Bulgaria: EU, Switzerland Sign Agreement Ending Bank Secrecy Photo: EPA/BGNES

The agreement signed Wedneday states that information regarding financial accounts will be automatically exchanged between the EU and Switzerland starting 2018.

This step has largely been considered a major breakthrough in the fight against money laundering and tax evasion, as rpeorted by Financial daily.

The document was signed by EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, Janis Reirs, Latvian Minister of Finance, and by the Swiss State Secretary for International Financial Matters, Jacques de Watteville, as stated by the European Commission's press office.

"Today's agreement heralds a new era of tax transparency and cooperation between the EU and Switzerland,'' stated Pierre Moscovici. ''It is another blow against tax evaders, and another leap towards fairer taxation in Europe. The EU led the way on the automatic exchange of information, in the hope that our international partners would follow. This agreement is proof of what EU ambition and determination can achieve."

According to the document, member states will be able to receive names, addresses, tax identification numbers, as well as dates of birth of citizens with Swiss accounts.

The document, however, may need to be further ratified by the Swiss government and might be the cause of a referendum in the country.

The European Commission is currently working on drafting similar agreements with Andora, Liechtenstein, Monacco and San Marino.

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Tags: EU, Switzerland, bank secrecy, agreement, document, tax evasion, Pierre Moscovici, Janis Reirs, Jacques de Watteville, Commission
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