Jane G. Song


The closing of Switzerland’s oldest bank Wegelin in early 2013 was a

symbolic moment for the Swiss banking industry. Add to Wegelin fourteen other

Swiss banks under fire by the U.S. Department of Justice for aiding tax evasion,

and Swiss banks no longer seem to be shrouded in a cloak of mystery. While

Switzerland is still the top destination for offshore wealth, U.S.’s Foreign

Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) began implementation in 2014. This

Comment will argue that FATCA will fundamentally alter Switzerland’s status

as a safe haven for secret offshore accounts, as Swiss banks promise to

automatically provide the U.S. government with account information, and

cooperate with other international transparency measures picking up momentum

alongside FATCA. This Comment will also analyze FATCA’s impact on

Switzerland’s banking policies regarding the transparency of offshore accounts

used for foreign tax evasion and conclude by posing questions about the future

of Swiss banking industry.