UNIL recruits Pascal Saint-Amans, executioner of Swiss banking secrecy

UNIL recruits Pascal Saint-Amans, executioner of Swiss banking secrecy
UNIL recruits Pascal Saint-Amans, executioner of Swiss banking secrecy

Known for having brought down Swiss banking secrecy, Pascal Saint-Amans joined the University of Lausanne (UNIL). The Frenchman, who has just left the OECD, will take up his duties as full professor on 1 February.

The 54-year-old enarque will officiate in the Faculty of Law, Criminal Sciences and Public Administration (FDCA). He will join professors Robert Danon and Marius Brülhart at the direction of the UNIL Tax Policy Center, a joint research platform with the faculty of HEC, the FDCA announced on Thursday.

With Professor Danon, he will endeavor to provide a neutral academic forum for discussion, bringing together researchers and decision-makers. Together with the other professors, he will contribute to public consultations relating to tax reforms in the various countries as well as at the global level. This center will take advantage of its location in Switzerland to maintain “an open and neutral dialogue with all countries”, explains the FDCA in a press release.

Showdown with Switzerland

Trained at the National School of Administration (ENA), Pascal Saint-Amans worked for the French Ministry of Finance, before joining the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2007. He then took over, in 2012, the direction of the Center for Tax Policy and Administration, a position he left at the end of October.

For several years, the senior official led a showdown with the Swiss authorities to put an end to banking secrecy. It will come to fruition when Switzerland introduces automatic exchange of information in 2017.

“In reality, banking secrecy did Switzerland no credit,” he declared at the end of October in an interview with Le Temps. “You took the reforms seriously and today Switzerland is doing better. There is no more damage to its reputation.”

Taxation of multinationals

During his years at the OECD, Pascal Saint-Amans also made a name for himself by leading the reform of the taxation of multinationals. A historic agreement which will come into force in 2024 and which establishes a minimum global tax rate of 15% for large companies.

Recently, he joined a major strategic consulting firm as a partner. He will work at UNIL in parallel with this professional activity. At the teaching level, he will develop a new master’s level course exploring the dynamics of international tax relations and policies. He will participate in continuing education and give conferences.

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The article is in French

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