7.43 AM Saturday, 22 June 2024
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 03:59 05:26 12:24 15:44 19:15 20:42
22 June 2024

Swiss banks wary about German‘spies’ leaking data on customers

By Agencies




Germans will face extra scrutiny when applying for jobs with Swiss banks because of espionage concerns, said one of Switzerland’s leading bankers yesterday.


Michel Derobert, head of the Swiss private bankers’ association, said methods used by Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), to obtain secret banking data from Liechtenstein were “reprehensible” and would lead to extra precautions in Switzerland to protect client privacy.

Switzerland, like its tiny neighbour Liechtenstein, fiercely protects the privacy of banking customers, including foreigners who have deposited more than one trillion Swiss francs (Dh3.4trn) in its vaults.


Germany’s recent purchase of confidential client data belonging to a Liechtenstein bank will discourage financial institutions in Switzerland from employing Germans, Derobert told Swiss daily Le Matin.


Berlin has said the BND paid an informant as much as $7.3 million (Dh26.7m) for a list with the names of account holders of a Liechtenstein bank.


The information led to a series of high-profile raids against individuals and businesses in Germany suspected of tax evasion, but also a sharp reaction from Liechtenstein’s ruling prince and criticism from leading Swiss politicians and businessmen.


Pierre Mirabaud, the head of the Swiss bankers’ association, compared the BND’s tactics last week to those of Nazi Germany’s secret police.


Thousands of Germans work in Switzerland’s rich financial industry, which has caused friction in the nation of 7.6 million. (AP)