Liechtenstein ruler proposes repatriation amnesty
Liechtenstein's head of state Prince Alois has proposed an amnesty under which people holding funds in the country's banks could repatriate the money to their home states, according to an an interview.
Speaking to the Financial Times from his castle above the tiny country's capital Vaduz, the royal added that his country's recent decision to ease strict banking secrecy rules was positive and would have a greater impact than threats of discovery.
Addressing the proposed amnesty, the prince said: "Otherwise, you risk driving the clients to other parts of the world and you don't necessarily get them back into your tax system."
"Even when there are tax agreements, it's often very difficult to persuade people to go back into the system. We've tried to find a solution to that."
On Thursday, Liechtenstein, along with Belgium and Andorra, bowed to international pressure reguarding their banking rules and pledged to cooperate with foreign tax authorities.
The three countries announced separately that they would swap information with foreign governments to combat tax fraud and evasion, shedding light on the secret offshore accounts of non-residents.
The announcement came a year after a major tax evasion scandal in Germany uncovered allegedly undeclared accounts held by German taxpayers and other foreigners under the cloak of Liechtenstein's secretive banking sector.
"We are convinced better solutions are possible if you work together on a bilateral solution," Alois told the business daily.
"This is the quickest and most efficient way of getting long-term results."
He added: "We are keen to find a long-term solution that will meet the needs of all those affected."