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Swiss cite India’s strong data security laws for auto-sharing banking info

Monday, August 07, 2017

New Delhi/Berne: Switzerland found India's data security and confidentiality laws "adequate" for entering into an automatic exchange of information pact, which will open a continuous access to details about alleged black money hoarders in once-all-secret Swiss banks.

In a detailed notification and fact sheet published in its official gazette for introduction of "automatic exchange of information relating to financial accounts with India", the Swiss government has also cited decisions by other financial centres like Liechtenstein and Bahamas to enter into similar pacts.

Besides, Switzerland also took note of the US tax authority, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), recognising India among the countries that provide an "adequate degree" of data protection for mutual exchange of tax information.

The fact sheet and the notification, published in German, also talks about Switzerland looking to explore greater access to Indian market, including the reinsurance sector and other financial services.

The Swiss Federal Council, the top governing body of the European nation, in June ratified automatic exchange of financial account information with India and 40 other jurisdictions to facilitate immediate sharing of details about suspected black money even as it sought strict adherence to confidentiality and data security.

Taking the decision forward, the Swiss government has now notified the decision and the notification authorises the Council to notify India about the exact date when such automatic exchange must take place.

The implementation is currently planned for 2018 and the first set of data should be exchanged in 2019. The decision is not subject to any referendum -- which means there should be no further procedural delay in its implementation.

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