Dear Board members,
The reporting season for the 2014 financial year is over and the Swiss economy has made first experiences with the implementation of the Minder initiative and the Ordinance against excessive compensation in listed companies (VegüV). Therese Amstutz and Jörg Kilchmann summarize the issues and uncertainties faced by the companies concerned and how they have been overcome.
If certain conditions are met, companies can fulfil their withholding tax obligations by using the declaration procedure. Since 2011 the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has drastically tightened its policy, which has led in recent years to massive subsequent and sometimes life-threatening tax claims for companies. A draft has now been developed at parliamentary level in order to correct this situation. Hartwig Hoffmann and Olivier Eichenberger explain in their article what companies should be aware of regarding the declaration procedure.
In light of regulatory developments, the existence of an efficient compliance management system has gained importance in recent years. In this context, companies must establish a proper compliance culture based on the commitment of the Board of Directors and the management. This commitment must be communicated appropriately within the company. In their article Solveig Rüfenacht and Franziska Zuber provide an overview of the relevant instructions and standards that help companies design an operational compliance management system.
Due to the strengthening of cross-border provisions and foreign tax requirements, Swiss private banks remain under pressure. In order for them to remain competitive at international level and have access to foreign customers, the successful implementation of transnational rules has become a question of survival for the Swiss private banking sector. Hans Stamm and Dana Rulf address the challenges arising from this situation based on a recent study covering 50 banks in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
We hope that you enjoy reading this issue and wish you a great summer.
Philipp Hallauer and Hélène Béguin