Germany prepared to pay for secret Swiss bank data

BERLIN, Feb 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Germany is in principle willing to
purchase bank data on suspected tax evaders even if the
information is obtained illegally, a spokesman for the Finance
Ministry said on Monday.

A whistleblower has offered to sell German authorities the
bank data of up to to 1,500 possible tax evaders with accounts
in Switzerland which could lead to 100 million euros for German
state coffers, media reported at the weekend. [ID:nLDE60U0JK]

“The government will do everything it can to stop tax
evasion,” said Finance Ministry spokesman Michael Offer. “The
decision will be based on the line that was established with the
Liechtenstein case in 2008.”

In this case, Germany purchased stolen data from an
informant about clients of Liechtenstein’s main bank LGT,
sparking a huge investigation into tax evasion.

The case snared former Deutsche Post chief Klaus Zumwinkel,
who was given a suspended jail term for evading nearly a million
euros in taxes using a Liechtenstein trust. [ID:nLM752092]

Offer said it was the responsibility of individual German
states to decide what to do with such data, in cooperation with
the federal government. He said the authorities were seeking to
quickly clarify legal issues surrounding the case.

Shares in Swiss bank UBS (UBSN.VX: )(UBS.N: ) fell on Monday,
chiefly due to comments by the country’s justice minister about
the risk to the Swiss economy, should the bank’s settlement of a
U.S. tax dispute unravel.

However, traders said the weekend reports that Germany was
considering buying data on bank accounts in Switzerland was also
hitting the stock as investors feared that some could belong to
UBS, Switzerland’s biggest wealth manager.[ID:nLDE6100DY]

Stock Market Basics
(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum and Sarah Marsh; editing by David
Stamp)

Germany prepared to pay for secret Swiss bank data