• France's news in English
 

Swiss banks 'weed out French tax dodgers'

Published: 16 Sep 2013 08:56 GMT+02:00

The daily Le Parisien reported that both UBS and Credit Suisse were asking for a document signed by a lawyer or an accountant "allowed to practise in France" certifying customers' accounts are in line with tax authority requirements.

The paper quotes a UBS document as saying that "if the assets held at UBS have not been declared to relevant tax authorities", the customer will be asked to "consider measures necessary for regularisation."

Switzerland is famed for its bank secrecy laws, which critics say have enabled many clients to shield their wealth from the scrutiny of tax inspectors back home.

But these once sacrosanct laws are slowly being eroded as France and other countries such as the United States step up their fight against tax evasion in a troubled economic climate.

On Monday, Swiss MPs voted in favour of a law requiring Swiss banks to report the holdings of their US clients to US tax authorities in line with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which aims to ensure that all US citizens are taxed on their income and assets worldwide.

France has also been cracking down on tax evasion following a scandal involving former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, who was forced to resign in disgrace earlier this year over an undeclared account.

Le Parisien quoted a Swiss banker as saying that most banks in Switzerland would soon "have to do the same thing" as UBS and Credit Suisse.

According to Daniel Lebegue, head of the France division of anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, Swiss bankers are slowly realising that "banking secrecy will soon disappear."

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Fêtes de Bayonnes
The Bayonne festival: France's wildest party
Festival goers in Bayonne - a sea of red and white. Photo: AFP

The Bayonne festival: France's wildest party

One of France's most famous festivals kicks off on Wednesday and promises to be as wild and raucous as ever. We take a closer look at the Fêtes de Bayonne to find out why everyone needs to go at least once. READ  

Calais migrants' crisis
Blame game erupts over Calais migrants' crisis
Police and migrants in a standoff near the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais. Photo: AFP

Blame game erupts over Calais migrants' crisis

Eurotunnel said on Wednesday that since January it had stopped 37,000 attempts by migrants to get to the UK through the Channel Tunnel as the company and the French government accused each other of not doing enough to stem the crisis in Calais. READ  

France and Iran
Hollande invites Iranian president to visit Paris
French president François Hollande seen here shaking hands with Hassan Rohani. Photo: AFP

Hollande invites Iranian president to visit Paris

French president François Hollande has invited his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to visit Paris in November in what would be an historic trip if the invitation is accepted. READ  

Birkin: 'Take my name off Hermes crocodile bag'
Jane Birkin and one of the Birkin Croco handbags. Photo: AFP

Birkin: 'Take my name off Hermes crocodile bag'

British singer Jane Birkin has asked the French luxury manufacturer Hermes to remove her name from its crocodile-skin handbag after learning of the "cruel" methods used to make the iconic accessory. READ  

Disneyland Paris 'overcharged UK visitors'
Taking the Mickey? Does Disneyland overcharge foreign customers? Photo: AFP

Disneyland Paris 'overcharged UK visitors'

Europe's most popular theme park Disneyland Paris stood accused on Wednesday of charging British and German customers more than French visitors for identical packages. The EU is investigating. READ  

Calais migrants' crisis
Hundreds of migrants try to storm Channel Tunnel
Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015 in Calais-Frethun. Photo: AFP

Hundreds of migrants try to storm Channel Tunnel

Hundreds of migrants tried to storm the Channel Tunnel for the second successive night on Tuesday as the crisis reached a new peak. UK Prime Minister said the situation at Calais was "concerning". READ  

Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
French police officers stand guard as a car arrives at the villa of the Saudi king in Vallauris. Photo: AFP

Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach

The storm around the Riviera beach "privatized" for the Saudi royals took a new twist on Tuesday when it emerged the Middle Eastern visitors had asked French police not to send any female officers to guard the beach. READ  

Guest blog - Strikes
French leaders should be more like French parents
Farmers stand next to carrots dumped during a November protest in southern France. Photo: AFP

French leaders should be more like French parents

The French government needs to take a leaf out of the book of the nation's fabled disciplinarian parents when it comes to dealing with rebellious strikers, argues Martin Dixon director of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry. READ  

Fifa corruption scandal
France's Platini looks set to run for Fifa presidency
Will Michel Platini replace Sepp Blatter as the head of Fifa? It looks like he will at least throw his hat into the ring. Photo: AFP

France's Platini looks set to run for Fifa presidency

Uefa chief Michel Platini is set to announce in the coming days that he will stand in next year's election to replace Sepp Blatter as president of Fifa. READ  

What's on in France: Ten things to do in August
Dance a jig with the Celts in Brittany. Photo: AFP

What's on in France: Ten things to do in August

August in France - especially Paris - is deathly quiet as the locals shut up shop and head off on holidays. But there are still plenty of intriguing events across the country to keep you busy. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in August
Features
What to see and do at the Paris Plages this summer
Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
Take a closer look at the 560,000-year-old tooth found in France
National
Swiss army pilfers French water to give to thirsty cows
National
'B**ch' and 'brainless': French shop slurs clients
Travel
French cops rebel over order to give kids sweets
National
New measures to stop migrant deaths in Calais
Travel
Here are some of the most ridiculous comments you'll read about France
Features
Life may be about to get easier for expats settling in France
National
Burning tyres and blocking roads is just the way the French do strikes
National
Muslim tourists visiting French Alps are reminded of burqa ban
Opinion
Slim and chic: Are French women fed up of the stereotypes?
French officials defend handing public beach over to Saudi royals
Society
French kiss: Should expats in France do 'la bise' among themselves?
National
Paris commuters and tourists face summer of travel trouble
This man learnt the entire French vocabulary in nine weeks, but why?
French speed cameras snare tens of thousands of British drivers
Gallery
What kind of expat in France are you: A lover or a loather?
Society
French tweeters reveal the trials and tribulations of #GrowingupFrench
Where to find the best (and worst) quality of life in France
National
Riviera rumpus as Saudi royals grab public beach all for themselves
What we know about France's foiled terror plot
Features
Here are ten places in Paris where you can escape the summer heat
National
Coup d'état fails in France after being snubbed by military
Are shoppers in northern France the most honest in the world?
French woman fined €90 for driving in flip-flops
Cyclists in Paris get the green light to jump red
'Adieu France': Angry mum's parting rant goes viral
Franco-German rift opens over Greece and it could take time to heal
The Megavalanche: The most spectacular cycling event in France
Ex-French PM's daughter creates a buzz by going topless for photo shoot
Could Parisians be bathing in the Seine by 2024?
Paris unveils new mobile app to help non-French speakers
France declares war on public transport sex pests
So where's the best place to live in France if you want to be happy?
Opinion
Paris: The City of Light, Romance, Style and the worst loos in Europe?
National
Eight ways living in France will change your lifestyle for good
International
Why French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Ten ideas that could improve the quality of life in Paris
National
Rules for taking selfies at the Eiffel Tower: No.1 Keep your clothes on
National
Paris's trendy Canal Saint-Martin is now more tip than hip
National
Westeros is coming: Paris to welcome Game of Thrones exhibition
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,582
jobs available