WASHINGTON — Switzerland was famous during the 1990s for its ability to act as an offshore bank account location for tax evaders and government spies. Now, that has been put to rest.
Reuters reports that Swiss lawmakers struck down a draft for a law that would protect the country’s banks from U.S. criminal charges, which stems from hiding tax-evading Americans’ money in Swiss bank accounts.
The Swiss government worried that this law would have incurred the wrath of the U.S., but is currently looking at settling the dispute between the U.S. and Switzerland.
One of the primary banking lobbyists in Switzerland, the Swiss Bankers Association, said “Switzerland must not take the risk of a further indictment of a bank lightly”.
Why the clampdown on Swiss banks? With budget cuts, austerity measures and the like during a global recession, their assets are now in the cross-hairs of countries seeking to recoup tax dollars from tax evaders. Large corporations like Apple, Amazon and Google have received this renewed government ire regarding tax shelters, but it is legal under current international tax laws.