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Swiss Bankers Association and TJN index

The Swiss Bankers Association, which is the leading professional organisation of the Swiss financial centre, did not communicate (yet ?) on the Tax Justice Network index that was released a couple of days ago.

Because of a bad behaviour of Swiss banks in the USA every banker in Switzerland is in the spotlight with suspicion.

But as I wrote last year, there are visible differences between both European jurisdictions that may explain the delta of their respective score:

Switzerland has a Financial Secrecy Index Value of 513.40.
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has a Financial Secrecy Index Value of 1127.02.

Communication of big four firms on fraud, corruption and other criminal business behaviours

PwC et E&Y in Switzerland participated to « Global Economic Crime Survey » for PwC and « Corruption or compliance – weighing the costs » for E&Y.
They are free to talk about criminal business behaviours.

PwC et E&Y in Luxembourg did not participate to « Global Economic Crime Survey » for PwC and « Corruption or compliance – weighing the costs » for E&Y.

PwC Luxembourg, the audit leader, focuses on the growth in a way that does not comply with IFAC.

Communication of the regulatory body

FINMA largely and regularly communicates on its investigations, its sanctions and cases law especially in the Bulletins.

The CSSF communicates only once a year in its annual report with no details. The small number of sanctions is telling. The CRF, the Luxembourg FIU, does a pretty good job and does not hide issues. The CSSF and the CRF do not describe the same situations.

Communication of judiciary judgements in general

They are available on www.bger.ch in Switwerland.

They are not available in Luxembourg. What exists currently officially is a selection of jurisprudence considered as interesting (Cf. parliamentary question Nº2550 dated 21 May 2008 and Minister of Justice’s answer dated 2 July 2008).

Number of declarations of suspicion while the center is growing

It increased in 2007 in Switzerland (Cf. MROS report dated 2008).

It decreased in 2007 Luxembourg (Cf. Minister of Justice report 2007 pp. 136 to 140)
Although Luxembourg has steadily enacted anti-money laundering and terrorist finance laws, policies, and procedures, the lack of prosecutions and convictions is telling, particularly for a country that boasts such a large financial sector”. (International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, US Departement of State, March 2007)
The scarce number of financial crime cases is of concern, particularly for a country that has such a large financial sector.” (International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, US Departement of State, March 2008).

Freedom of media and NGOs as watchdog

Media and NGOs play the role of watchdog in Switzerland.

Because of a public financing the press does not act as a watchdog in Luxembourg all the more than because of conflicts of interest due to the small size there is a pressure. There is no culture of investigation.
This was stated by the GRECO in a report early 2001: “the press, which has strong political affiliations, does not seem to exercise its role of public watchdog with the same vigour as in other countries. ” (GRECO Report dated 15 June 2001).
This was stated as well by the OECD in a report in 2004 : “The “watchdog” role of the media is also very limited in Luxembourg, although in some cases they have played a part, when detailed information fell in to their hands, in bringing to light suspicious behaviour. (…) According to media representatives interviewed, the shortage of financial and human resources available to the Luxembourg media generally preclude investigative journalism and consequently prevent the revelation of bribery cases” (OECD Report dated 28 May 2004).

The censorship like what happened with Rainer Falk's study about Luxembourg would not be possible in Switzerland.

Liability of legal persons

GRECO took a particularly positive view of the seizure and confiscation system and of criminal liability on the part of legal persons (See GRECO Evaluation report dated 4 April 2008).

Luxembourg urgently needs to establish liability against legal persons for foreign bribery and put in place sanctions that are effective, proportionate and dissuasive, according to a report by the OECD's Working Group on Bribery (SEE OECD report dated 20 March 2008)
Nothing is enforced as their is no will.

Transparency International

There is a TI Chapter in Switzerland
1 % of respondents in Switzerland reported they paid a bribe to obtain a service (Cf. TI Global Corruption Barometer 2007)

There is no TI Chapter in Luxembourg

08:01 Posted in Switzerland | Permalink | Comments (0)

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