Swiss Bankers Association's position on Swiss Federal Council's measures to implement its strategy on Switzerland's financial market policy (Strategy paper originally published on 16 December 2009 as the "Graber-Report")

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) welcomes the measures announced today by the Federal Council to implement its strategy on Switzerland's financial market policy.

The measures correspond to the strategy also supported by the SBA and which is geared to the policy of in future managing assets which are tax-compliant.

This strategy is essentially based on 4 pillars:

  • Protecting the privacy of citizens innocent of any wrongdoing and thereby rejecting any system of automatic information exchange.
  • Regularising the status of existing assets with regard to a foreign client's home tax authorities.
  • Adopting the global standard of the OECD's Model Tax Convention (specifically Art. 26 governing the exchange of information in tax matters), revising Double Taxation Treaties accordingly while offering to impose a comprehensive withholding tax.
  • A demand for Switzerland to be given open, non-discriminatory market access in return.

In addition, the Federal Council said it rejects the possibility of concluding a comprehensive service agreement with the EU.

The SBA takes note of this and emphasises that open markets are indispensable to international banking services offered from Switzerland. The SBA, however, rejects the adoption of a system of automatic information exchange in return for market Access.