Germans rush money to Swiss banks before election

A potential lurch to the left in Germany's election on Sunday (September 26) is scaring millionaires into moving assets to Switzerland.

That's according to bankers and tax lawyers.

If the centre-left Social Democrats, hard-left Linke and the Greens come to power, the reintroduction of a wealth tax could be on the political agenda.

As well as a tightening of inheritance tax

One German-based tax lawyer told Reuters that "entrepreneurial families are highly alarmed."

The move shows how many rich people still see Switzerland as an attractive place to park wealth.

Despite its efforts to abolish its image as a billionaires' safe haven.

Switzerland has more offshore assets than any other country, and inflows accelerated in 2020.

That's been a boost for big banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse.

Geopolitical tensions and economic fears around the global health crisis have made Switzerland's political stability attractive.

Deposits of German households and companies at banks in Switzerland climbed almost $5 billion to $37.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

Recent polls show the SPD is leading outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives by four points.

The SPD wants to reintroduce a wealth tax and increase inheritance tax.

While the Greens - a likely potential coalition partner - plan to tax fortunes more heavily.