French and German authorities raid the offices and homes of Credit Suisse and UBS bank officials and their wealthy customers as part of an investigation.
France and Germany have launched a series of raids on the offices and homes of bank officials and their wealthy customers in an ongoing inquiry aimed at cracking down on those who evade taxes by using Swiss banks.
On Tuesday, German police searched the homes of an unspecified number of Credit Suisse bank customers suspected of tax evasion. In France, detectives raided the offices of Swiss banking and finance house UBS in three major cities: Lyon, Bordeaux and Strasbourg.
Officials in both countries refused to say whether the raids were coordinated or coincidental.
Switzerland has long prided itself on its banking secrecy, entrenched in law since 1934, making it a criminal offense to reveal a client's identity.
Until recently, some governments tolerated the creative efforts of wealthy citizens who stash their fortunes in foreign tax havens. Today, as European governments face mounting debt crises, some have begun clamping down on Switzerland's uber-secretive financial institutions.
Forcing wealthy French to pay their fair share of taxes has been a leading issue since Socialist Francois Hollande came to power in May.
I READ MITT ROMNEY HAS A SWISS BANK ACCOUNT, WONDER HOW THIS WILL PLAY OUT? THE SPILLOVER INTO THE STATES IS INEVITABLE
WERE WILLCOCK AND FULLFORD ACTUALLY CORRECT?