Monday 27 January 2020
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Switzerland to grant Pakistan access to bank data from 2021

BERN: The Switzerland Parliament has approved to grant Pakistan, among 18 countries, to access its financial data starting from 2021.The development would allow Pakistan authorities to learn how much money Pakistanis have in Switzerland. The Swiss parliament approved on Tuesday a new batch of countries for automatic exchange of financial information (AEOI), international media reported.This means that Switzerland will provide details of bank accounts held by their citizens (or those with a fiscal residence in Switzerland). Meanwhile, in return, Switzerland will receive information on banking details of accounts held by Swiss citizens/residents in these partner countries.The 18 countries are Albania, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Dominica, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macau, Maldives, Nigeria, Niue, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Samoa, Saint Martin,Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.Turkey was also up for consideration, but the Senate decided it was not yet ready for automatic exchange. The country s recent incursion into Syria created doubts on its ability to guarantee data protection.Currently Switzerland receives financial data from 75 countries and shares data with 63 countries. This is because they did not either meet data security and confidentiality requirements (Belize, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Cura ao, Montserrat, Romania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Cyprus) or chose not to receive Swiss data (Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands).Recently the Swiss authorities revealed that they had provided details of around 3.1 million bank accounts held by foreigners (or those with a fiscal residence abroad) to their countries of origin or residence. In return, it received information on banking details of around 2.4 million accounts held by Swiss citizens/residents in 75 partner countries.

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