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Event Preview: Swiss Bank Secrecy's "Long Goodbye"

Tom Burroughes

2 November 2015

The drawn-out demise of Switzerland’s bank secrecy regime will be the theme of a lecture on 5 November in Geneva to be delivered by one of the leading figures in the Alpine state’s banking and legal community.

The country’s bank secrecy law, dating in its modern-day form back to 1934, has come under relentless international assault, intensifying since the global financial crisis of 2008 when cash-strapped governments targeted offshore centres for holding undisclosed accounts. Switzerland has signed a number of treaties over exchange of information, and in August 2013, signed a pact with the US under which Swiss banks believing they have violated US laws enter non-prosecution agreements and pay fines to resolve old undisclosed account issues. Even so, the country’s bank secrecy code has not yet been repealed by lawmakers. But how long can this situation endure?

Hosted by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners’ association in Geneva, the lecture, Banking Secrecy: The Long Goodbye, will be delivered by Carlo Lombardini, partner of Poncet Turrettini, a prominent law firm. Lombardini focuses on banking law, anti-money laundering and dispute resolution. He is also professor of banking law at the University of Lausanne and acts as vice chairman at HSBC Private Bank (Suisse), as well as being a board member of HSBC Private Bank Holdings (Suisse) and HSBC Private Bank (Luxembourg). He is chairman of the audit and risk committee of both institutions and sits on the board of the Luxembourg subsidiary.

The lecture is the eighth annual John Usher Memorial Lecture held in Geneva’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel and WealthBriefing will attend this event. The event is sponsored by cisatrustcompany(Switzerland), Cornèr Bank Group, Landmark, Michael Page and STEP. Supporting organisations are the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce and the Swiss Association of Trust Companies.