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Swiss Banking News 2004

27.10.2004 Swiss banks' keeping to the principle of preserving client confidentiality has been a subject of discontent of both US and EU tax agencies for a long time. In May, Switzerland and the EU agreed that Swiss banks would withhold a percentage of dividends and interest from all accounts held by EU residents starting in 2005, rather than exchange information about EU taxpayers. For many Swiss financial institutions this compromise is supposed to mean less business, but, nevertheless, they signed this agreement. The Swiss Parliament has not approved this agreement yet as Swiss banks are afraid of being squeezed in EU countries where they operate.
The Swiss are not only already looking for ways to maneuver around the above-mentioned regulations but also disputing about the creation of an overarching federal financial authority, which will be meant to supervise all Swiss financial companies, in order to preserve the reputation of the industry of Swiss financial services.

10.08.2004 UBS posted a second-quarter net profit of 1.97 billion Swiss francs that is 28 percent more than a year ago.

04.08.2004 Credit Suisse reported 1.46 billion Swiss francs profit in the second quarter 2004. Last year Credit Suisse had a loss of 556 million francs in the same period.

01.07.2004 Beginning with July 1, Swiss banks will no longer offer anonymous, numbered accounts in an effort to fight fraud and terrorist financing. Although Switzerland will still offer accounts with some degree of privacy where the account is identified by numbers rather than names, bankers will have to know the identity of each of their clients.

17.06.2004 Today the Swiss National Bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time in four years. The 3 month Libor target was rised by a quarter point, to about 0.5 percent.

13.05.2004 European Union has agreed to guarantee Swiss banking secrecy in exchange for cooperation in taxing EU residents' savings i.e. Switzerland will sign up to the EU's savings tax directive and levy a withholding tax on EU residents' savings income in Swiss banks.

   
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