Austria stands by its bank secrecy laws

DUBLIN, April 12 Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:16am EDT

DUBLIN, April 12 (Reuters) - Austria vowed on Friday to stick to its bank secrecy laws, defying pressure from Germany to follow Luxembourg in agreeing to automatically exchange information on EU depositors with other EU countries to help clamp down on tax evasion.

"Austria sticks to bank secrecy. We fight tax evasion and money laundering. I don't expect any uncomfortable questions," Austria's Finance Minister Maria Fekter said, adding she did not consider that automatic exchange of information with EU countries was not necessary.

The issue of tax havens and bank secrecy was a last-minute addition to the agenda of informal talks of Eurpoean Union finance ministers in Dublin and will be disucssed on Saturday.

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