A law effectively putting an end to Swiss banking secrecy has come into force.
From the beginning of January, a new international law that introduced the automatic exchange of bank data means foreign citizens with accounts in Switzerland can expect previously secret information to be shared with their home tax authorities, and vice versa. It’s a deal that’s been agreed in principle with around 100 countries, although the United States is notably missing.
However, it was under pressure from the US that the first cracks in Swiss banking secrecy appeared. Since 2009, Swiss banks have paid billions in fines for enabling Americans to evade taxes.
The US Justice authorities started clamping down on American tax evaders hiding cash in Swiss accounts almost a decade ago.