POLITICS

Governments Around The World Pledge To Ease Bank Secrecy

04/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said in a statement today that the loosening of foreign governments' bank secrecy laws is "a very welcome development which is long overdue." Several foreign governments announced they would let some sun shine on their banking systems in response to increasing international disapproval of tax cheaters.

"Hopefully, dozens of other secrecy jurisdictions which have cost the U.S. Treasury so many billions of dollars will follow suit," the senator said. The worldwide financial crisis has encouraged cash-strapped governments to try to pry those billions of dollars from the offshore industry.

Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Andorra and Liechtenstein have pledged to ease their bank-secrecy laws.

Levin's release says he will continue to pressure his colleagues on legislation "to strengthen U.S. offshore tax enforcement and help end offshore abuses that enable U.S. tax cheats to offload their tax burden onto the backs of honest, hardworking taxpayers."

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