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Swiss consumer banking still attractive

Marketplace Staff Aug 19, 2009
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Swiss consumer banking still attractive

Marketplace Staff Aug 19, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: We’ve been hearing about it for weeks. Today, we could get details of a settlement between the Swiss bank UBS and the American government. The deal has to do with a lawsuit over thousands of secret accounts. From New York, here’s Marketplace’s Alisa Roth.


Alisa Roth: UBS will probably announce it’s handing over a list of 5,000 American account holders. That’s a lot less than the 52,000 the United States had originally asked for. But it’s still a big deal because it could mean the end of the secret Swiss bank account. The U.S. had accused the Swiss bank of helping its citizens evade taxes.

Meanwhile a tax amnesty program has been encouraging wealthy Americans to disclose their offshore bank accounts. And the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the program has helped the IRS identify several new European banks, including Credit Suisse, where Americans have accounts. The article also points out that none of those banks have been accused of doing anything wrong.

At the same time, banking experts say just because Switzerland opens its books probably doesn’t mean its consumer banking industry will shut down. The country’s still an attractive place to store money because of things like its location and stability.

In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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