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Swiss Banks still Draw Rich despite Secrecy Blows

Swiss Banks still Draw Rich despite Secrecy Blows

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss bankers are on the defensive with their secretive industry under sustained attack for sheltering tax dodgers.

Zurich overtook Tokyo as most expensive according to a new ranking by the Economist Intelligence Unit because of the soaring Swiss franc. The currency is up 30 percent since 2008, despite a cap imposed last year by the central bank, because investors view it as a safe haven in global economic turmoil.

The same factors make the country's banks attractive despite the gradual erosion of bank secrecy: political stability and neutrality, low government debt and an economy which has been relatively resilient through the financial crisis.

Although Swiss banks - especially the country's biggest UBS have shared in the pain of the crisis, they have retained an image for solidity, particularly in contrast to their euro zone rivals, bolstered by new capital rules that are the world's strictest.

Read more at: Tax Times blog

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