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Liechtenstein Resists Changes In Bank Secrecy Laws

Liechtenstein remains one of the five jurisdictions holding onto their bank secrecy laws, even in the face of sanctions from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Liechtenstein remains one of the five jurisdictions holding onto their bank secrecy laws, even in the face of sanctions from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In the past four years, the list of 35 countries and jurisdictions has been whittled down to just Andorra, Liberia, the Marshall Island, Monaco and Liechtenstein – which gets about one-third of its domestic product from financial services, Bloomberg News reports.

"I don't think a draft law or international accord proposing to scrap bank secrecy would be successful in the foreseeable future," Prince Alois of Liechtenstein told Bloomberg News. "The people would reject it in a referendum." The municipality doesn't seem bothered by the threat of sanctions, as it is still the tax-haven of choice to many and the home to 15 banks, including the one owned by the royal family, LGT. Liechtenstein did cave under pressure from the European Union by agreeing last year to collect a savings tax from EU residents. The 15% rate for that levy is expected to rise to 35% in five years, but customers appear to be skirting it by moving into tax-exempt products.

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