25 Jun 2009 HFM Week Comment & Opinion
Dominique Lecocq on how proposed EU regulation will impact the funds industry in Switzerland.
Switzerland has been under considerable pressure lately. First, the US Internal Revenue Service tried to force disclosure of 52,000 depositors’ names; second, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) added Switzerland with many other countries to a grey list of noncooperative countries. The Swiss government has been proactive and has negotiated with a discrete and diplomatic approach. It is currently signing a number of double tax treaties in order to be removed from the OECD grey listing. The Swiss authorities have refused to grant automatic exchange of information. Notwithstanding the recent financial and political turmoil against Switzerland, the country has seen a number of hedge fund managers relocating all or part of their operations in
the cantons of Geneva, Zurich and Zug. The stability of the country, together with favourable tax mitigation tools, high quality of life, a renowned banking industry and a geographical position in the heart of Europe have all added fuel to hedge funds’ exodus to Switzerland.