“Swiss Private Bankers Pursue Acquisitions to Solve ‘Growth or Die’ Dilemma”
In comments in a September 5, 2011 article in Bloomberg News, Booz & Company Principal Andreas Lenzhofer (Europe) said recent Swiss tax accords with Germany and the U.K., that end disputes over tax evasion by wealthy Germans and Britons with cross-border accounts, should help Swiss banks spur acquisitions. The amount of undeclared money in Switzerland is estimated by some observers at between 300 billion francs to 1 trillion francs, the International Monetary Fund said in May. “These new tax agreements will accelerate consolidation,” said Lenzhofer. “They will make it easier to assess the risks within client portfolios.” Swiss banks plan to levy a 26.375 percent withholding tax on interest, dividends and capital gains earned by Germans with offshore accounts. The rates for Britons will be 48 percent on investment income and 27 percent on capital gains. Revenue generated will go to the German and British treasuries, while the clients’ identities remain secret.