Swiss Digging Themselves into a Hole

December 2nd, 2009

As if the Swiss weren’t damaging their own reputation enough with regard to the issue of banking secrecy, they’ve now decided to antagonize the Islamic world as well.  On Sunday, Swiss voters strongly approved a measure to ban the construction of minarets in the country – a measure that has been met with strong international condemnation and which has likely caused the stiff sentencing of 2 Swiss nationals to prison in Libya.

Now analysts are suggesting the vote could discourage Muslim investors from investing in Swiss banks.  From Reuters:

ZURICH – A Swiss vote to ban new minarets could irk some Muslim investors at a time when Swiss private banks are hoping to replace dwindling growth in European and U.S. assets with fresh funds from emerging markets.

Switzerland has traditionally attracted wealth from the Middle East due to its political stability and proximity to the region. French-speaking Geneva has been the main Swiss hub for Arab clients, bankers say, although… there are no official figures available due to Swiss bank secrecy law.

Dig, dig, dig…

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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