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Testing times for Swiss-based traders as scrutiny increases

Switzerland struggles to adapt to increased regulation and transparency rules

As the spotlight focuses on Switzerland’s response to financial regulation, sanctions on Iran and tax, so too have the Swiss-based major commodity trade houses found themselves under increasing scrutiny. A light-touch regulatory regime, low corporate taxes and reputation for discretion has helped Switzerland become one of the world’s major commodities trading hubs, and Geneva into an oil-trading centre, handling about 35% of total global volume. Glencore, Vitol, Trafigura, Mercuria and Gunvor all have oil-trading operations in Switzerland and have, while clocking up profits, seen no need to trumpet their successes. But things are changing. Over recent years, Swiss trading firms have altere

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