Three European nations that practice secret banking, two of whom are also tax havens, are meeting to decide on a joint strategy ahead of April’s G20 meeting in London.
Switzerland is behind the mini-summit. It is currently running scared from several EU nations and the US who are fed up with losing tax revenues from their nationals who have set up bank accounts there. The G20 are likely to discuss secret banking and tax havens as part of their reform package for the international finance system, and last week sanctions were suggested by France and Germany for Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria and other countries who fail to reveal details about their clients. In February, UBS had to hand over details of 300 rich Americans suspected of tax fraud and pay a near-billion euro fine. Washington is also pressing for details of 52,000 other UBS accounts. On Saturday Swiss media reported the justice minister would not meet this demand. Under Swiss law data can be revealed where tax fraud is suspected, but not tax evasion.