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Austria: Banking Secret for Foreigners to be Abolished Forever

Published: March 11, 2014; 13:50 · (Vindobona)

From 2017 on, the banking secret for non-Austrian residents will be abolished completely.

Finance Minister Spindelegger declared that “double standards” are unacceptable in case the OECD plans to establish its model on a global basis. / Picture: © Vindobona.org

Today Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger announced that the banking secret for foreigners will be done away with by 2017. However, Austrian citizens are not concerned by this measure. One step towards this decision is the agreement to the extending the scope of the European Saving’s Directive (EUSD) by including trusts, funds and insurances.

The bank secret will only be abolished by the introduction of the automatic exchange of information, which is supposed to be launched in line with OECD standards. Both Austria and Luxembourg, as the only two EU member countries, have so far blocked the new regulations. All the other EU member states have already agreed to the automatic exchange of bank data.

However, now Austrian, as well as Luxembourg, seems to back down in the dispute with the European Union. Deputy Chancellor Spindelegger stated that his agreement during today’s Ecofin meeting in Brussels was “possible” so lang as “several conditions are grantable”.

While Austria is showing willingness to compromise, Spindelegger declared that “double standards” are unacceptable in case the OECD plans to establish its model on a global basis. Currently the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is working on a global standard which is going beyond the saving’s directive and also involves dividends and capital gains.

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