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Swiss Banks Downplay Impact Of German Tax Moves

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com

20 December 2002


The Swiss banking sector is relatively unconcerned by the prospect of a partial German amnesty on undeclared assets, according to the Swissinfo news service.

German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder confirmed this week that funds repatriated to the country until December 31 2003 will face a 25% flat tax, whereas funds returned after that will have a 35% levy imposed on them.

'We want to allow those who have not been honest a way back into the system,' he explained.

However, given the not terribly devastating effects of a similar Italian initiative - which incidentally imposed a much lower withholding tax on returning funds - Swiss banks are not overly worried about the impact of the German initiative.

Speaking to Swissinfo this week, spokesman for the Swiss Bankers Association, James Nason observed that:

'Germany's tax policy seems to change on the hour, every hour. We have heard from banks that the German saver is rather rattled in terms of the future and there is a lot of instability about. In times like these you seek a safe place for your hard-earned currency.'


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