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Exchange of Information and Bank Secrecy

Edited by Alexander Rust, Eric Fort


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Inevitably, the financial crisis of recent years has intensified scrutiny of bank secrecy.All major jurisdictions have agreed to limit their bank secrecy rules; in particular,where there are allegations of tax evasion or criminal fraud, obstacles in the way of cross-border exchange of information requests have been virtually eliminated. Yet this new ‘transparency’ has engendered many new legal distinctions and procedural rules in various jurisdictions which tax and legal practitioners must be knowledgeable about, and that is what this book sets out to elucidate. In 12 essays on this issue, this book analyses current bilateral and multilateral agreements on exchange of banking information, focusing particularly on the wide effect of the mutual assistance directives of the European Union. Among the specific rules and provisions discussed are the following:
  • the application of Article 26 OECD-Model Convention in France, Germany and Switzerland;
  • what constitutes a ‘fishing expedition’ and what ‘foreseeably relevant’ means;
  • whether information exchange requests may be refused if they are based on stolen data;
  • the differences between money-laundering and tax fraud and between simple tax
  • evasion and aggravated tax fraud;
  • the scope of the fundamental right to informational self-determination;
  • the mechanism of the EU savings and of the mutual assistance directives;
  • differences between the exchange of information instruments at OECD level and at the level of the EU; and
  • the role of the Global Forum’s peer review process.

This book is sure to help tax advisers, company counsel, and other professionals involved in international business to manage cross-border arrangements under current exchange of information rules.

Last Updated 06/04/2012
Update Frequency As Needed
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041139955
SKU 10059116-0001
Table of Contents

List of Editors.

List of Contributor.



Part I General Overview and Relation Between Tax and Criminal Proceedings .

Chapter 1 Information Exchange in Tax Matters: Luxembourg’s New Tax Policy Alain Steichen.

Chapter 2 European Criminal Law and the Exchange of Tax Information: Consequences for Luxembourg’s Bank Secrecy Law Stefan Braum & Valentina Covolo.

Part II EU and OECD Developments.

Chapter 3 Savings Taxation and Banking Secrecy Jens Schröder.

Chapter 4 The Mutual Assistance Directives Klaus-Dieter Drüen.

Chapter 5 Development of the International Information Exchange and Domestic Implementation Eric Fort, Paul Hondius & Jan Neugebauer.

Chapter 6 2011: The Year of Implementation of the Standards? Philippe Malherbe & Marjolein Beynsberger.

Part III Country Surveys: Implementation in France, Germany and Switzerland .

Chapter 7 Exchange of Information: The French Perspective Franck Le Mentec.

Chapter 8 Exchange of Information: The German Perspective Ernst Czakert.

Chapter 9 Exchange of Information: The Swiss Perspective Martin Hess .

Part IV Taxpayer's Rights.

Chapter 10 Data Protection as a Fundamental Right Alexander Rust.

Chapter 11 The Exchange of Information Procedure According to Double Tax Conventions: The Swiss Approach or How Taxpayer Rights Are Protected under Swiss Procedural Rules Oliver Untersander.

Chapter 12 Legal Protection against the Transfer of Information (Luxembourg) Jean-Pierre Winandy.


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