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The banking secrecy in Europe is over

Pierre Moscovici

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The European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici said today that there is no bank secrecy in Europe. This in turn reflects to better combating of tax evasion. He noted that bank secrecy has not existed since the signing of the convention between the EU and Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra and Monaco.
“The banking secrets in Europe are over”, said Pierre Moscovici. “If someone has an account in Switzerland thanks to the exchange of information, we will immediately understand”, stressed the EU Commissioner.
The European Commission’s mandate to negotiate bank information exchange with non-EU countries – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra and Monaco – was adopted in 2013 to combat tax evasion. Two years later, an automatic banking information exchange agreement with Switzerland was signed, which entered into force in 2018.
Last December, the EU finance ministers approved a blacklist of 17 countries that did not cooperate in the fight against tax fraud. On January 23, the EU removed eight countries on the list after expressing readiness to make an obligation to change their tax rules.
Another 47 countries and territories were included in the so called “gray list”, including Turkey, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina. These countries and territories promise to eradicate offshore practices in their legislation and ensure financial and tax transparency.
Pierre Moscovici propose sanctions against the nine countries on the black list and demand transparency in the commitments made by gray list countries.