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…but Swiss bound by OECD rules

Under pressure from India and other countries for sharing account details of suspected tax offenders, Swiss banks have said that any information exchange would be as per the conditions set out by OECD, the grouping of mostly developed nations.

business Updated: Aug 30, 2010 00:49 IST

Under pressure from India and other countries for sharing account details of suspected tax offenders, Swiss banks have said that any information exchange would be as per the conditions set out by OECD, the grouping of mostly developed nations.

These conditions have been laid out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its Model Tax Convention that governs the tax information exchange agreements between signatory countries, a senior official at Switzerland-based banks’ apex body Swiss Ban-ker’s Association (SBA) said.

Switzerland is signing revised tax treaties with a host of other countries as per the OECD’s Model Tax Convention in order to facilitate the bilateral exchange of information related to bank account details of tax evaders.

It is not the Swiss banks who are laying down the conditions on their own to facilitate sharing information in tax evasion cases, SBA’s spokesperson James Nason said in an e-mailed statement.

“The conditions for information exchange are in fact laid down by OECD, specially in the Commentary to the OECD’s Model Tax Convention and also in the OECD’s manual on tax information exchange agreements,” Nason said.

“Switzerland is simply implementing the international standard on information exchange in tax matters set by OECD. Swiss banks play no role in laying down these conditions.”