Italy demands data on UBS banking clients

UBS is facing yet another demand for information on its clients. Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Italy has asked Switzerland to supply information on all Italian account holders at UBS bank in the years 2015 and 2016 to help it in the hunt for tax evaders.

This content was published on August 7, 2019

The request was submitted to the Swiss tax administration at the end of last year but has only just been made public. On Tuesday the Swiss authorities published the request in the Federal GazetteExternal link to give affected people the chance to appeal against their data being handed over.

Such group requests from foreign tax officials are controversial in Switzerland, but the Swiss Federal Court only last month set a legal precedent by ruling that UBS must comply with a similar demand from France.

The ruling has been viewed as boosting the chances of the Italian request being successful. In a statement to the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA, UBS said it complies with tax obligations of European countries and international standards.

But the Italian request, submitted on December 6, 2018, covers the period February 2015 to the end of 2016, which falls before Switzerland agreed a treaty with the European Union on the automatic exchange of tax data.

Several other countries have submitted group tax data requests to Switzerland, including a previous demand from Italy for around 10,000 Credit Suisse clients.

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