Bloomberg has a scandal mongering non-story on reforms at the Geneva Freeport which is NOT losing customers despite the headline. It is getting some beefed up measures to track visitors to the freeport and inspect antiquities stored there.
Also, the new head of the freeports in Geneva, David Hiler, is the former finance minister:
“Today, the image is still deteriorating,” the 61-year-old said. “I don’t expect that things will improve quickly: this will take time.”
Losing a few nervous clients, however, may be the price to pay to improve that image, he said.
“Today, in terms of customers, the greater risk lies in not doing anything,” he explained.
Except that Bloomberg’s own story says very few owners are moving their property from Geneva. And if they are moving, it is to another freeport like Frederick Dietl’s in Delaware:
“I feel for the Geneva Free Port as a lot of the negative publicity they’re getting is undeserved,” Dietl said by phone. “But yes, I am benefiting from that.”
In Zurich, one art world veteran said he had heard of the Delaware Free Port but wasn’t aware of European customers feeling sufficient pressure to move their collections across the Atlantic.
“None of our clients are planning to move their art to Delaware yet so that’s a new twist and turn,” said Thomas Stauffer, partner at Gerber Stauffer Fine Arts, a Zurich based art-advisory firm. “It’s ironic and kind of hypocritical given the U.S. crackdown on tax havens abroad. ”
Art Collectors Quit Scandal-Hit Geneva (Bloomberg)