Prison term for ex-banker increased

An appeals court in Basel has increased the prison sentence given to a former banker who broke Swiss banking secrecy laws by handing confidential data to Germany.

This content was published on April 24, 2009

The court in the northern Swiss city sentenced the 38-year-old unnamed man to three months in jail for giving German authorities details of 45 clients.

He passed on the information while in detention in Germany on suspicion of fraud.

Prosecutors lodged an appeal after considering an original 30-day prison sentence handed down in November 2007 too lenient.

The appeals court said on Friday that the sentence was increased because of the severity of the man's crime.

Swiss banks often point out that client confidentiality protects the privacy of the client, not the bank.

The issue of banking secrecy has been a political hot potato of late with calls for Switzerland to relax its legislation to help foreign countries find tax evaders.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development earlier this month placed Switzerland on a "grey list" of countries that it considers do not fully comply with its standards on tax evasion.

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