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Guernsey signs tax deal with Switzerland as jurisdictions work to change perception

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Guernsey has signed a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with Switzerland, taking the number of such agreements signed by the UK crown dependency to 46.

Guernsey also signed a TIEA with Hungary last week. It has signed tax information sharing agreements with 16 of the G20 nations.

Peter Harwood, Guernsey’s chief minister, said the island shares much in common with Switzerland, and added that the signing of the accord is another signal that the two countries are committed to tax transparency.

“Guernsey’s relationship with Switzerland is of great value and we have much in common as finance centres outside of, but working with, the EU,” said Harwood. “I am delighted to be able to sign this agreement, not only because it acts as another indicator of Guernsey’s commitment to tax transparency, but also because Switzerland is a country of significance for our industry. This agreement strengthens the economic and political ties between Guernsey and Switzerland.”

The Swiss Ambassador to the UK, Dominik Furgler, echoed Harwood’s sentiments and said this latest agreement “further demonstrates Switzerland’s commitment to implementing international standards”.

Earlier this month, Swiss Bankers Day was held in Berne. Patrick Odier, chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), also took that opportunity to reiterate the importance of Switzerland conforming to international standards.

“We bear the sole responsibility in the coming years for acting in such a way that we live up to our responsibility to clients, staff, the economy, society and the next generation of bankers,” said Odier. “Our strategy can be summed up in the words tax compliance, international standards, growth through open markets and fair competition.”

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