SBA wording on the "Side Letter" to the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with France on 12 February 2010

  • The SBA is pleased that it has been possible to clarify certain points in the newly-revised DTA with France and also certain issues connected with the HSBC stolen data affair.
  • "Fishing expeditions" (i.e. indiscriminate trawling through bank accounts) are explicitly forbidden because requests must be made with regard to a specific individual. Requests concerning categories or groups of people are excluded.
  • Finally, both sides agreed that requests that do not include the precise name of the bank may only be made only as an exception and that the foreign authority making the request must make all information available in order that the bank can be identified. In addition, every case must respect the principle of proportionality.
  • Now that these points in the DTA with France have been clarified, five newly-revised DTAs are now before Parliament (USA, UK, France, Denmark, Mexico). The SBA believes that there is now no longer any major obstacle in the way of ratification. However, the SBA expects the Federal Council to quickly produce the law on administrative assistance as promised.