Swiss Bankers Association welcomes the declaration by Switzerland and Germany on tax issues – Repositioning of the Swiss financial centre is well on course – Protection of financial privacy remains intact for clients whose tax affairs are in order

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) welcomes the declaration by Switzerland and Germany that they will enter into negotiations on tax issues. The agreement reached following exploratory talks offers the Swiss financial centre the chance to implement its forward strategy and focus in future on acquiring and managing taxed assets in the interests of its clients. Patrick Odier, Chairman of the SBA, says: “The consensus represents an important milestone in the bilateral relationship between Germany and Switzerland and will help to normalise relations between the two countries.” The principles agreed will enable Swiss banks to abide by their duty of fiduciary care for their longstanding clients. Clients are also assured that once an agreement is signed, they will be given sufficient time to choose the best course of action for them. SBA CEO Claude-Alain Margelisch says: “The agreement is fair and balanced. German clients of Swiss banks gain the opportunity to regularise their undeclared assets while maintaining their financial privacy.” Germany has acknowledged that the flat-rate tax represents a long-term equivalent measure to an automatic exchange of information. In an important move for Switzerland’s future growth as a financial centre, Germany has also declared its willingness to seriously consider abolishing discriminatory measures in cross-border business.