Italy and Switzerland Join Forces to End Banking Secrecy

Italy and Switzerland have agreed Monday to share banking and financial information, a deal hailed by Rome authorities as a major advance in the crackdown on tax evasion. “For Switzerland it is the end of banking secrecy,” commented the Italian economy ministry.

Once the agreement is ratified by the Swiss and Italian parliaments, Italy’s authorities will be able to access data from 2015 onwards on bank accounts held by Italian taxpayers in Switzerland.

“This will inevitably lead to the voluntary disclosure of assets illegally held in the [Swiss] Confederation,” the Italian ministry announced, adding that the exchange of information between the two countries should become automatic from 2017.

Italy’s economy and finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who signed the deal in Milan with Swiss finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, said he expected “great benefits for public accounts.”

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