Swiss bankers say foreign assets not blunted by tax evasion deals

The trade group for Swiss banks says their foreign assets account for just over half of the 5.3 trillion francs ($5.64 trillion) in assets they manage, despite pressure from other countries to clamp down on tax evaders.

Swiss Bankers Association CEO Claude-Alain Margelisch says there has been "no noticeable shift of foreign client money to other countries" contrary to expectations that Swiss tax agreements might prompt huge withdrawals.

Under pressure to shed its status as a tax haven for the untaxed assets of foreign clients, Switzerland has negotiated deals with countries such as Britain and Austria, whose agreements to collect tax revenues take effect on January 1.

But Margelisch told reporters Wednesday in Geneva its discussions with U.S. authorities "are not quite as advanced as we would like."