Profit loss feared on Swiss crackdown

A road sign in front of a UBS branch in Geneva, Switzerland

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Steve Chiotakis: Switzerland's bank secrecy laws may be the latest casualty of the global economic fallout. The U.S. Treasury Department announced last night it's about to begin negotiations with that country to share more tax information about American citizens with cash in those infamous secret accounts. Here's Marketplace's Steve Henn.


Steve Henn: Switzerland has one of the highest standards of living in the world. And with precious few natural resources, the secret to its economic success has long been its banking system.

An estimated $2 trillion in foreign wealth is stashed is Swiss bank accounts. A big draw has always been Swiss banking secrecy laws.

Edward Hadas: People from around the world bringing their money to Switzerland, where it has been out of the prying eyes of local tax authorities.

Edward Hadas covers this issue in London for the Web Site Breaking Views. He says over the past year, international pressure has been mounting on Switzerland and other international tax havens to make their financial systems more transparent.

Hadas: The big Swiss banks have been anticipating this for years and years, and have been making quite significant efforts to diversify their business. That being said, many analysts still fear that it'll be a hit to profits.

As countries around the world spend hundreds of billions to bailout their economy, they're cracking down on international tax cheats.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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