The European Union’s efforts to combat tax evasion took a small step forward on Wednesday as Austria agreed in principle at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels to eventually start sharing bank account information by the end of the year. However, the EU’s other centre of banking secrecy, Luxembourg, has said it will only share details of account holders with other EU member states if Switzerland agrees to do the same. Austria shared concerns that unless other jurisdictions adopt similar rules, a unilateral ban on banking secrecy would merely drive undeclared money out of the EU.
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(Photo G Schouten de Jel)