SWITZERLAND: Banking Law Comes Under UN Criticism.

As published on finews.com, Tuesday 3 May, 2022.

Switzerland faces international criticism for its banking secrecy law which can deter journalists from reporting wrongdoings by banks.

Swiss banking law violates human rights and infringes freedom of the press, Irene Khan, UN Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression said in an interview with Tages-Anzeiger (in German, behind paywall) on Tuesday.

Khan recently presented her concerns to the federal council in a letter and is planning to raise Switzerland's banking secrecy law before the UN Human Rights Council on June 24, the report said.

Under Swiss banking law, disclosure of certain bank data is punishable by heavy fines or even imprisonment, regardless of whether the data is in the public interest.

Journalists from Tages-Anzeiger refrained from participating in the Suisse Leaks investigation which revealed certain Swiss banks’ client relationships with questionable individuals around the world.

The threat of severe punishment causes journalists to self-censor, Khan said, adding that the ban should provide grounds for the overriding public interest.

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