France has secured the names and details of some 3,000 suspected tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts in what the budget minister described as a first in its battle against banking secrecy.
News of the deal comes after Switzerland and France signed a landmark agreement on bank information sharing this week.
It is the first time we have been able to get this type of information, that is so precise with the names, account numbers and amounts deposited, Eric Woerth told Sunday paper Le Journal du Dimanche, a copy of which was made available on Saturday.
Under pressure from the G20, Switzerland, the world's biggest offshore banking center, agreed in March to relax its prized bank secrecy and agreed to share certain client data with other jurisdictions, once bilateral tax treaties were ratified.
On Thursday, Switzerland agreed to share banking information upon request from France's tax authorities as of January 2010, an agreement which amends an existing tax accord from 1996.
It was not immediately clear if the handing over these details was as a result of the agreement, which is part of Swiss efforts to be removed from an OECD grey list of tax havens.
Woerth said suspected French tax evaders would come under investigation if, by December 31., they had not declared their assets, estimated to total 3 billion euros ($4.31 billion).
The French government had decided to speed up things. The battle against tax havens is an essential plank of our efforts at making capitalism more moral, in which the French president is totally engaged, he added.
Last week, Switzerland agreed to reveal the names of about 4,450 wealthy American clients of UBS AG to U.S. authorities in a tax dispute settlement.
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt)