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[ZURICH] Switzerland has signed a deal with Australia to exchange tax information, the country's first such agreement under an international framework to automatically swap tax information, the Swiss finance ministry said on Tuesday.
The country is under growing international pressure over bank secrecy and tax evasion, most recently highlighted by allegations that the Swiss arm of HSBC had helped clients dodge taxes.
Switzerland is among a host of countries who have committed to a multilateral tax detail sharing agreement developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
"Today in Canberra, Switzerland and Australia signed a joint declaration on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information in tax matters on a reciprocal basis," Switzerland's finance ministry said in a statement.
"This is the first such declaration signed by Switzerland with a partner state."
The two countries will start collecting data from 2017 but will not start sharing it until the year after, one year later than most other signatories.