Bedell Cristin launches Swiss trust business

The trust arm of Jersey law firm Bedell Cristin has deepened its penetration of the onshore sector with the launch of a business in Switzerland.

Last November, Bedell Cristin Trust was the first offshore firm to establish a trust administration company in Dublin.

Bedell plans to act for the super-rich who have trust administered bank accounts in Switzerland.

Edward Buckland, director of the new Swiss business Bedell Cristin Trust Suisse, expects to attract some 20 clients during the early stages. This is in contrast to the 1,000 or so individuals and companies it acts for through its Jersey trust arm.

The partners of Bedell Cristin own its Jersey trust business, which in turn owns the new Swiss entity.

Trust business is booming in Switzerland, although in the future individuals may be put off by Switzerland’s July introduction of a withholding tax as part of the state’s compliance with the EU’s savings directive.

This legislation meant that low tax regimes, such as Switzerland and the Channel Islands, should either reform their tax regime, or review the way they exchange information, a synonym for banking secrecy.

Bedell Cristin said the move to Switzerland has been client-driven.