France to collect millions after Switzerland ends banking secrecy

French Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve
French Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve AFP/Dieter Nagl

France is on track to collect millions of euros from 16,000 hidden bank accounts place abroad to dodge taxes, Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneueve said Wednesday. Most of the accounts have come to light because Switzerland has ended its banking secrecy.


Tax collectors are set to collect 230 million euros from just 2,621 tax-dodgers' accounts, Cazeneuve told the finance committee of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Dossier: The Cahuzac affair

The government promised lighter penalties for people who owned up to having secret accounts abroad.

But 80 per cent of those who came forward had accounts in Switzerland, which under international pressure has scrapped the banking secrecy that was a key attraction to foreigners placing funds there.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Another seven per cent of the accounts were in Luxembourg; Cazeneuve.

French officials hope to collect as much as one billion euros from the operations.

The previous budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac was forced to resign and pull out of politics after it was revealed that he had held a Swiss bank account.

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