Testimonials regarding the Swiss financial industry

If you are a crook, it is not wise to try to open an account in well-run jurisdictions like Cayman and Switzerland, because neither the banks nor the government will protect you.
Richard W. Rahn, on Offshore finance
The Washington Times, February 10, 2004
 
Si les places financières honorables se décidaient à intervenir sérieusement, des progrès sensibles pourraient être accomplis. Ces progrès ont été réalisés en Suisse. On les attend encore en d'autres places, dont la City de Londres où rien n'a été fait dans ce sens".
Jean-François GODBILLE, Substitut du procureur général auprès de la cour d'appel de Bruxelles
L'Agefi, 30 octobre 2003
 
"The British authorities have been lethargic and unhelpful to those investigating claims that London has been used to launder huge sums stolen from Nigeria. The lack of urgency in London is in disturbing contrast with the actions taken in Switzerland. (…) It was left to Switzerland's Federal Banking Commission to uncover a sordid paper trail that led to many big banks in the UK".
Editorial du Financial Times, 20 octobre 2003
 
Peru’s attorney general [Nelly Calderon] said on Saturday that Switzerland has agreed to lift its banking secrecy rules to help in a legal probe into accusations that disgraced ex-president Alberto Fujimori hid cash from illegal arms deals in foreign bank accounts... Calderon said Peru had requested cooperation from several countries to investigate corruption charges against Fujimori, but so far only Switzerland had responded. “So far, Switzerland is the only country that has given us all the facilities to repatriate money from corruption,” she said.
Peru’s attorney general Nelly Calderon
Reuters report, 18 October 2003
 
"We may very well position ourselves as the Switzerland of the securities servicing business".
Tom RENYI, Bank of New York's Chairman and Chief Executive
Financial Times, 6 octobre 2003
 
"We hope that the likes of Britain and other countries look at [the Swiss] as an example of what they ought to be doing".
Ms. Oby EZEKWESILI, Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria's President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Financial Times, 2 octobre 2003
 
"Treasury is completing work on a regulation implementing a provision of the USA PATRIOT Act, section 312, that will place renewed emphasis on U.S. financial institutions to guard against accepting the proceeds of foreign corruption from kleptocrats, their families, and other associated 'politically exposed persons' in the first place.
We are not alone in pursuing this type of regulatory requirement. In Switzerland, for example, recent amendments to Swiss anti-money laundering laws and regulations are designed to enhance protections against accepting the proceeds of foreign corruption from politically exposed persons."
David D. AUFHAUSER, General Counsel,
Department of the Treasury, before the House Financial Services, 14 May 2003
 
"Un véritable 'réflexe anti-blanchiment' peut s'instaurer au sein de la banque et de la finance helvétique. (…) Ah, décidément, les lessiveuses "made in Switzerland" ne sont plus ce qu'elles étaient !"
Jean-Noël CUENOD, Rédacteur
La Tribune de Genève, 16 janvier 2003
 
"Let me briefly recount some of our successes with respect to international law enforcement cooperation:
U.S.-Swiss Operative Working Arrangement: On September 4, 2002, a working arrangement signed by the Attorney Generals of Switzerland and the United States and the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury was agreed to in Washington. Under this agreement, Swiss und U.S. federal agents have been assigned to each country's terrorism and terrorist financing task forces in order to accelerate and amplify work together on cases of common concern."
Jimmy GURULÉ, Under Secretary for Enforcement,U.S. Treasury Department
Before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, 9 October 2002
 
“The Swiss banking system is well known as an example to the world. But one of the myths once held around the world was that the system was somehow incapable of acting to support law enforcement against terrorists and organised crime. That myth has been dispelled by the constructive conduct of the Swiss government and the Swiss banking system.”
 “Switzerland is an intersection on the world’s financial highways, and Switzerland operates this intersection very responsibly.”
 “The world should take note of the responsible way in which the Swiss have acted... The world is a safer place because of the Swiss approach.”
John ASHCROFT, US Attorney General
Press conference in Bern, 12 June 2002
 
“Switzerland is on the forefront of the campaign to fight the financing of terrorism... Switzerland is a strong partner leading the way with the US... I’ve been very impressed with the commitment of support. We’ve had very active discussions on what more can be done.   There is no sense of complacency in Switzerland.”
“Switzerland has been very active in blocking accounts. There is no instance that I can recall where the US has requested the support of the Swiss government and financial sector and the response has been : ‘We’d like to help but we can’t because our banking secrecy laws prevent us from doing so.’ Instead, they’ve come forward in a very aggressive and supportive way to issue blocking orders against several individuals and block literally millions of dollars of assets.”
Jimmy GURULÉ, Under Secretary for Enforcement, US Treasury Department
Press briefing in Bern, 5 June 2002
 
"Je vous rappelle que jusqu'en 1996, seule la drogue constituait une infraction aux lois anti-blanchiment en France alors qu'en Suisse, cela faisait 6 ans que tous les crimes commis en amont étaient sanctionnés".
Bernard BERTOSSA, Procureur Général du Canton de Genève
Le Temps, 16 janvier 2002
 
"Hard currency countries [including Switzerland] have been leading the charge in the international effort to destroy the financial infrastructure of terrorism".
Secretary Paul O'NEIL, U.S. Treasury Department
Statement Remarks On Next Terrorist Asset List, 9 janvier 2002
 
"The Swiss are at the forefront in fighting the financial side of international terrorism. They formed a task force to deal with terrorism-related issues, and the results are very dramatic in terms of what has been achieved… There is a myth that Switzerland is a haven for money launderers, but this country is a precursor in setting up regulations to combat money laundering. The know-your-customer rules have been essential in seizing and freezing assets."
Mercer REYNOLDS, US Ambassador to Switzerland
Interview on Swiss Radio International, 19 December 2001
 
"The fact is that the Swiss have really turned over a new leaf… They've recognised that if they're going to be leaders in the international financial community, they have to have transparency. They're members of the FATF. They have tough rules. They are complying. They are sharing information. So we can't point the finger at a lot of countries. They can almost point the finger at us."
Stuart EIZENSTAT, former Under Secretary of the US Treasury
speaking during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the 2001 National Money Laundering
Strategy, 26 September 2001
 
"Switzerland has become one of our most significant partners in pursuing asset forfeiture and sharing for criminal activities."
Michael CHERTOFF, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice
Speaking during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the 2001 National Money Laundering
Strategy, 26 June 2001
 
"There is starting to be progress in the world banking system. Britain is committed to change but the Swiss are leading the way. Since the days when you could take any dirty money and put it in a Swiss bank account, they've cleaned up and taken action on the Nigerian money; yesterday they were dealing with the Milosevic money. They've turned around their banking to reject the proceeds of corruption. Fabulous !"
Clare SHORT, UK Secretary of State for International Development
Diplomat, November/December 2000
 
"I'm happy to say without equivocation that so far Switzerland has given the best cooperation to Nigeria in its quest to recover the looted property stashed in banks across Europe and the Americas."
Ogbe OBANDE, Nigeria's ambassador to Bern
speaking about the Abacha case and reported by Swissinfo, 19 September 2000
 
"Swiss efforts to clean up banks bear fruit".
Elizabeth OLSON, Correspondent in Switzerland
New York Times Service, 14 juillet 1999
 
Fondation Genève Place Financière (avec l'appui de l'Association Suisse des Banquiers)
SB/ccf – 1.03.2004

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