Swiss banks reach secrecy agreement with UK

Swiss Bank

Switzerland has reached an agreement with the United Kingdom regarding banking secrecy, meaning wealthy Brits could legally utilise the nation for tax avoidance.

High rate UK taxpayers, people who would face tax charges of 50 percent in England, will now be allowed to keep their low tax Swiss accounts without fear of persecution from HMRC.

Swiss authorities have released an official statement saying: “During the exploratory talks, Switzerland and the UK agreed on a lasting solution which respects the protection of bank client privacy. Consequently, the automatic exchange of information will no longer be an issue in relations between the two states. The solution will apply after the entry into force of the agreement to be negotiated (no retroactive effect)”

Negotiations regarding an arrangement that will see a low amount of tax come to the UK have began, however the secrecy allowance has already been agreed. Under the current laws HMRC have sometimes cast a suspicious eye towards Swiss bank accounts, and demanded that people declare the amount they hold in said accounts. The new scheme could see a tax rate as low as 20 percent being introduced, saving wealthy Brits thousands and thousands of pounds.

It is estimated that around £125 billion of British money is currently held in Swiss banks.