You can’t avoid the taxman, but there may find a friendlier one in the Alps

October 5, 2010

With the German government hot on the heels of untaxed wealth stashed in Swiss bank accounts, and the U.K. government taking a tougher stance on clawing back bonuses, rich folks will likely head for the hills — or the Alps to be more precise — senior private banking executives said in Geneva. 

“People are going to arbitrage different tax jurisdictions. We are going to see European clients moving to Switzerland, very large families,” said Alberto Valenzuela, deputy chief executive of Societe Generale Private Banking (Suisse) SA.

JP Morgan, which specialises on clients with $20 million to invest, is hoping to tap into the pool of wealthy exiles.

“We are seeing an affluence of international people moving to Switzerland and we want to develop a practise that can serve families,” said Pablo Garnica, head of private banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa at JP Morgan.

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