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Swiss Supreme Court rules bank data can be sent to Dutch

Tue 13th September, 2016 11:19am
ZURICH, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Switzerland's highest court has 
ruled a request from the Netherlands for information on Dutch 
account holders at Swiss banks is valid, overturning a lower 
court's decision to block the order. 
    Swiss banks have paid billions of dollars in fines in recent 
years as global prosecutors, led by the United States, chipped 
away at the secrecy rules that for decades enabled the world's 
wealthy to keep their cash in Switzerland, out of sight of the 
taxman.  
    Last year, the Netherlands said it had requested information 
on Dutch account holders at UBS  UBSG.S  and Credit Suisse 
 CSGN.S , making use of a new bilateral agreement to crack down 
on tax avoidance. 
    But in March, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court sided 
with a Dutch client of UBS fighting the order, ruling the 
request was not covered by the information-sharing agreement 
since it did not include names of individuals.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N16T57G 
    The tax agency appealed, and on Monday Switzerland's Federal 
Supreme Court ruled the Dutch request did not require the names 
of clients but just needed enough information to identify 
account holders.  
    The court said the purpose of the double taxation agreement 
is to ensure a broad information exchange between the 
Netherlands and Switzerland, without encouraging so-called 
"fishing expeditions". 
    The decision will be a printed as a guideline for future 
cases in this area.  
    The Swiss Federal Tax Administration said it was "happy" 
with the ruling. UBS declined to comment.  
 
 (Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Angelika Gruber; Editing by 
Raissa Kasolowsky) 
 ((joshua.franklin@thomsonreuters.com; +41583067007; Reuters 
Messaging: joshua.franklin.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) 
 
Keywords: SWISS TAX/NETHERLANDS
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