Luxembourg 'not caving in' as it agrees to share information on bank accounts
Wednesday 10 April 2013
Luxembourg's highly secretive banking system will be forced to share information with the rest of the EU following growing pressure, led by the UK and Germany, to clamp down on people who use accounts at private banks to avoid paying tax.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of the tiny country which has only 500,000 citizens but holds bank accounts and assets worth 20 times its annual gross domestic product, said that from 1 January 2015 it would tell other EU countries about accounts held by their citizens.
The move would bring Luxembourg into line with all EU countries other than Austria in sharing such information. It follows pressure from the European Commission over the issue, which advocates say can help fight tax evasion. Early this month Germany signed an information-sharing agreement with Switzerland.
"We can, without great damage, introduce automatic exchange of information as of 1 January 2015," Mr Juncker told parliament in a state-of-the-nation address.
"We are following a global movement … We are not caving in to German pressure," he said.
"We cannot deny to the Europeans all that we will have to concede to the Americans in a bilateral treaty."
The change ends decades of bank secrecy in Luxembourg which helped to turn the country into one of the biggest financial centres in Europe and made its citizens the EU's wealthiest.
Once Luxembourg adopts the legislation, it will mean the automatic exchange of data about EU citizens holding bank accounts in Luxembourg, with the aim of cracking down on tax avoidance.
The change will not apply to foreign companies based in the country, which is a popular headquarters for major corporations.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...