Switzerland is likely to come under further pressure from the United States over its prized system of banking secrecy after the election last week of Barack Obama, key sector players predicted.
The newly-elected US president, who formally takes office in January, is known for his hard line on fiscal evasion, having jointly presented a “Tax Haven Abuse Act” to the Senate back in 2007.
Switzerland was one of 34 countries listed as a potential site for tax evasion by US clients in the bill and observers said that while that particular piece of legislation is unlikely to see the light of day, it could yet inform the new president’s policy.
“American legislation can move very quickly and laws can get passed speedily,” said Martin Navillle, head of the Swiss-US Chamber of Commerce.
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“The United States is looking for more fiscal receipts” to finance its massive bailout plan for Wall Street giants battered by the global economic crisis, he added.
His comments echoed warnings by Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who said that pressure on the country was bound to increase after Obama’s victory.
“The pressure on Switzerland is going to increase, also from the United States,” Calmy-Rey told the weekly SonntagsZeitung in an interview.
“Countries across the world have injected billions into financial markets to save the banking system,” she noted, adding “they now have to find fiscal means” to finance these rescue plans.