Swiss private banks will probably observe a moment of silence today as the government rushes to sign the final tax treaty separating the country from removal from the OECD's grey list. With the battle for airtight secrecy lost, Konrad Hummler, managing partner at the oldest private bank in Switzerland, Wegelin & Co, signaled the war is far from over. With the pay-to-play withholding tax proposal from the Swiss Bankers Association gaining momentum, the next phase of the struggle may be determined by testing the degree to which European governments are willing to walk the walk.
"Do they want to see cash, or are they ideologists who just want to be right?" he said. "Looking at their treasuries, I have the feeling that the cash argument is a good one."
Given Europe's penchant for royalty, there's a pretty good chance cash is still king.
Swiss Secrecy Onslaught May 'Criminalize' Elites, Hummler Says [Bloomberg]