Grey Matters: Ankur Poddar, Swati Aggarwal and Peeyush Razdan

 Ankur Poddar, Swati Aggarwal and Peeyush Razdan, “The future of bank secrecy and Switzerland” (11 August 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1460713

Abstract:     
The paper discusses the future of bank secrecy in light of the recent developments in Switzerland. It discusses the dependence of the offshore banking industry on secrecy and the impact of bank secrecy on Swiss banking. The paper creates three distinct scenarios for Swiss banking secrecy: status-quo, partial dilution and complete removal. The possibility and the impact of these scenarios on Switzerland are then elaborated. A small section deals with India’s tryst with Swiss banking and its secrecy.

CFR comment:
This student paper from business students at an Indian university includes an interesting discussion of bank secrecy debates in India, as well as a very basic overview of Swiss policy and three business scenarios for the impact of legal changes to Swiss secrecy laws. This overview is unfortunately based largely on websites. The business cases are competently done and clearly written. Of most interest is the paper’s claim that the debate over Swiss bank secrecy in India centres on the assertion that US$1.4tr of Indian funds were secreted in Switzerland. The paper argues that this has been based on a fictitious citation of a Swiss Banking Association report, which actually made no mention of funds from India. Unfortunately, the authors note that the US$1.4tr figure remains in common use in India. The authors note that the US$1.4tr figure represents 140% of Indian GDP, reason enough to question the claim.

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Andrew P. Morriss

Andrew P. Morriss, Chairman, is the D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene Angelich Jones – Compass Bank Endowed Chair of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. He was formerly the H. Ross & Helen Workman Professor of Law and Business at the University of Illinois,Urbana-Champaign. He received his A.B. from Princeton University, his J.D. and M.Pub.Aff. from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Ph.D. (Economics) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Research Fellow of the N.Y.U. Center for Labor and Employment Law,and a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Energy Research, Washington,D.C., as well as a regular visiting faculty memberat the Universidad Francisco Marroquín,Guatemala. He is the author or coauthor of more than 50 scholarly articles, books, and bookchapters, including Regulation by Litigation (Yale Univ. Press 2008) (with Bruce Yandle and Andrew Dorchak), and is the editor of Offshore Financial Centers and Regulatory Competition (American Enterprise Institute Press 2010).

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