Sep 21 2011

Swiss banks: masters of ‘compliance’

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

So the Swiss banks are really trying to make these bilateral deals work. Here’s a story:

“Some Swiss banks are not allowing their German customers to make cash withdrawals until a double taxation treaty between Bern and Berlin comes into force, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) said on Monday. “It is temporary problem which only affects certain banks and only for cash withdrawals,” a SBA spokeswoman told AFP.

She explained that some banks were reticent to allow cash withdrawals from their German customers, to ensure the tax deal agreed to in August between both countries but as yet unsigned is implemented correctly, and not emptied of its content through withdrawals or the closure of accounts. However, the concerned banks would still make electronic transfers, even to accounts in Germany, she said.

Goodness me, they really are trying to make this thing work! Er . . . . well, let’s put it slightly differently. they really are trying to make it look as if this thing will work. As an email I just received explains:

“See them stopping CASH withdrawals so German clients can’t escape from the tax agreement… but they allow wire transfers. Its all bullshit to look compliant. What  the hell do they think? That Germans going to withdraw €1 million in cash notes to escape the tax (not allowed) or wire the money to Singapore (allowed)!

Amazing how their PR kicks in.

See? Swiss banks really are ‘compliant!”

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