The secret Swiss bank account of legend is to become a relic of the past if the UK government achieves its aims in negotiations with the Swiss government.
Negotiations recently opened between the UK and the Switzerland as part of a wider EU information exchange initiative designed to reduce tax evasion via offshore bank accounts.
One of the proposals on the table is for the Swiss to levy tax on interest earned on accounts held by UK nationals, and to remit the funds to the UK. A similar deal with the Italians reportedly raised more than €15bn.
“In the current climate, holders of Swiss accounts cannot assume their accounts will remain confidential for ever,” he said. “If anyone with an overseas account has tax arrears to declare, I would urge them to put things right before HMRC catches up with them.