Events - 17.10.2019 - 00:00 

The history of Swiss banking secrecy

This public lecture gives an overview of the over 100-year history of Swiss banking secrecy, recreated as a dialectic of criticism and defence. It will show you why and in what contexts Swiss banking secrecy became the subject of political debate and why Switzerland managed to defend it right up until the outbreak of the global financial crisis. The lecture series starts on 24 October.

17 October 2019. At the centre of the lecture is the adoption of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) and the consequences this has had for foreign private customers. Of particular interest are two questions: First, why was Switzerland no longer able to defend its tax-related banking secrecy from 2008? Secondly, were there any alternatives that might have led to another conflict outcome? Are we dealing with a "collective failure", in the verdict of political scientist Patrick Emmenegger from St.Gallen? Intermingled with this is the central tax issue: The international debate as part of the OECD/G 20 campaign against "uncooperative tax havens"; the tax dispute with the USA, initially concerning UBS and subsequently involving other banks as well; and finally Switzerland’s dispute with European countries on the establishment of a withholding tax. The lecture will close with a discussion of the outlook between the author and Paolo Bernasconi, a former lawyer and professor for criminal and economic law.


Thursdays, 6.15 p.m. to 7.45 p.m., Room HSG 09-110

24 October, 31 October, 7 November, 14 November, 21 November, 28 November

Dr Stefan Tobler, sociologist and economic historian, Zurich

Image: Adobe Stock / Peter Donovo

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