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Alternative Market Briefing

Comment: Switzerland may cease being the financial centre it once was

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: Myet Zaki, author of several books on the Swiss financial system and chief editor of Bilan, a Geneva-based financial weekly, forecasts gloom and doom for Switzerland, which she says will be weakened by the end of banking secrecy, financial scandals, job losses, unemployment and recession.

An article in L’Illustré late last month mentions the UBS France employee who was recently implicated in a case of tax evasion, several banks who denounced their own associates to the American authorities, banks' CDs which were stolen and sold to some European countries, and Geneva money managers who were engaged in the Libor scandal – as examples of the ongoing problems the Swiss financial place is having to deal with. A recent example comes to mind: Wegelin, Switzerland's oldest bank, which was accused by a New York court of helping its clients dodge American taxes on $1.2bn in offshore accounts (Source).

With its well-deserved reputation for stability, neutrality, first-class service and honest administration, Switzerland is home to almost one third of the world’s $7tln in offshore assets, wrote Charles Lewis Sizemore in Investment International i......................

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