Right-wing politicians in Switzerland have launched an initiative to defend Swiss banking secrecy from being chipped away to meet concerns about tax evasion.
A committee, supported by elected members of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the Liberals, the Christian Democrats and the Ticino League (Lega), have until December 4th 2014 to collect 100,000 signatures to put the proposal to a national vote.
The bid was revealed on Tuesday in the federal gazette.
The text of the proposal calls for the continued protection of the private sphere, particularly with regards to financial information.
It is opposed to a planned change to Swiss tax law, introduced by Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf last Thursday, which aims to better track tax evasion in the country.
A consultation period on the policies proposed by Widmer-Schlumpf ends in September.
The right-wing initiative also surfaces as parliamentarians in Bern are grappling with a deal made by the Swiss federal cabinet with the US government.
This would force Swiss banks to pay American authorities in order to win legal closure over tax evasion cases involving US citizens.
The amount of the penalties has not been disclosed but some newspaper reports have put the figure as high as ten billion francs ($10.5 billion).