Finance minister says Luxembourg willing to ease banking secrecy

Apr 07, 2013, 8:42 AM EDT
Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden seen on November 26, 2012 in Brussels.

BERLIN, April 7 (Reuters) - Luxembourg is prepared to ease its banking secrecy and work more closely with foreign tax authorities, finance minister Luc Frieden told a German newspaper.
Frieden told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung there was an international trend moving towards automatic information exchange, adding; "We no longer strictly reject this, in contrast to before."
"Luxembourg does not rely on clients who want to save tax," he said.
Austria and Luxembourg are the only European Union states that do not share with other EU members the identities of EU residents with cross-border bank accounts. The crisis in Cyprus has cast doubt on whether their systems are sustainable.
Amid growing outrage over the scale of tax evasion, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said last week Berlin would push the EU to take legal measures against tax havens.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; editing by Andrew Roche)