Secret bank account

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Banking in Switzerland
In today's world, however, concerns about terrorism and smuggling have forced the authorities in Switzerland to reject clients whom they believe to be involved in illegal activities. Along with the Swiss Alps , Swiss chocolate , watchmaking and mountaineering, banking is seen as emblematic of Switzerland. For each single case, there are more viable solutions to consider. The Case of Swiss Banking Secrecy". By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Retrieved June 1, The letters sent to the clients address are a breach of contract.

How do I open a Swiss bank account, and what makes them so special?

Due to the security of Swiss banks and the international pressure to account for tax evasion efforts, however, the paperwork process can be quite lengthy. One Swiss bank expert reported that there can be upwards of pages of paperwork required for a foreign investor to open a Swiss bank account. Meet the minimum investment requirements. Sometimes various types of accounts within the same bank may have drastically different requirements.

Anyone new to Switzerland who hopes to open a bank account there will need to meet with a bank representative. It's best to make these arrangements and get a bank account set up as quickly as possible.

It may be helpful to visit a Swiss bank branch before you close out your old bank account from the country you're leaving, if at all possible. Some expatriates may have a difficult time securing their housing without a bank account, yet they may also have a difficult time opening a bank account without an address.

Documents provided by the potential customer will need to be authenticated, either by a notary, an employee of the Swiss bank, or an employee of a correspondent bank that the Swiss bank is willing to work with.

Get assigned an account manager. Most Swiss banks assign a personal account manager to work with each customer, and it's important to remember who your account manager is for all future bank transactions. Ask for your account manager's contact information, including his email address and direct phone line at the bank.

Otherwise an account manager will most likely be fluent in one of Switzerland's four major languages: German, French, Italian, or Romansh. If you know you will require an account manager who speaks a language other than the major languages of Switzerland, it's best to call ahead and make the necessary arrangements. Like most banks and financial institutions around the world, new customers wishing to open a personal account will need to provide documentation that proves the customer's identity and source s of income.

Some banks will require a new customer to verify his professional status. Banks may also require new customers to show any relevant work contracts and tax returns as part of the employment verification process.

Showing proof of employment helps banks know that the money being deposited into an account has not come from illegal activities. There are over 20 Swiss banks that are cantonal, meaning they only do business with residents of the canton in which each bank is located.

If you open a personal account with a cantonal bank and move to a different canton, you may be asked to transfer your account to a corresponding canton. This should not be a problem for customers who open accounts with Swiss national banks. Expect to pay charges and fees. Most Swiss banks charge a monthly maintenance fee for personal accounts, and may charge additional fees for a credit card or Carte Maestro debit card. Learn your tax requirements.

This is particularly important for US citizens opening Swiss bank accounts, though it may apply to other countries as well. US citizens, regardless of their choice in bank accounts, are required to: Request a Carte Maestro.

A Carte Maestro is essentially a debit card that is issued by your bank. It can be used to withdraw cash or complete purchases in most shops, though merchants in smaller towns and villages may have cash-only policies. Request a credit card. Many Swiss banks can issue credit cards to interested customers. However, customers may be required to provide the bank with a security deposit, typically one to two times the maximum monthly credit limit, to deter customers from ringing up delinquent charges.

The deposit will be returned to the customer upon the credit card's cancellation, provided that the customer has paid off any charges that were made using that card. Traveller's checks do not always offer the best exchange rate, but they can be invaluable for overseas customers, as they can be easily replaced if lost or stolen. Any time you write a check or use a debit card, it creates a traceable path back to your bank account.

If you're trying to maintain a secret account, being issued a debit card or checkbook is an easy way to get caught. Close your account with confidence. If for any reason you need to close your account or collect on your investment s , most Swiss banks allow you to do so without any restrictions or fees. But why are the banks shutting down or freezing undeclared accounts? The main reason is they fear heavy fines by justice authorities in other countries, and particularly in the US.

Other banks have sent letters to clients, warning them to become tax-compliant and disclose the existence of the account to their domestic tax authorities or, failing that, to shut it down altogether.

Some banks are freezing accounts pending hefty fines or claims for back taxes that may be imposed on their clients. Whatever action is taken, the compliance pitfalls are considerable. This requires them to come clean and compliance officers may find themselves standing in the middle. If clients drag their feet, some banks are making the disclosure for them, which of course puts the client in the worst possible light with the IRS. By any definition the demise of the secret — or numbered — bank account marks a turning point in the fight against tax evasion.

Although other jurisdictions such as Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Singapore have long enforced privacy laws in banking, Switzerland started it all off in No other country enforced anonymous accounts so comprehensively. Swiss law prohibited the sharing of information about these accounts with any third party including foreign tax authorities, foreign governments or even Swiss authorities.

The punishment for a violation of the law was severe. The largest bank in Switzerland: The second largest bank in Switzerland: The battle for the Swiss soul". Retrieved May 19, Narrative Report on Switzerland , p. Archived from the original on May 27, Retrieved 22 July Youssef Cassis - Banks and Banking in Switzerland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Sharing Wisdom, Building Values: Archived from the original on 5 July Archived from the original on 29 May Archived from the original on 14 July Bank of International Settlements. Archived from the original on 15 June Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. Archived from the original on 20 July Retrieved May 18, Archived from the original on July 23, From a Legal View".

The International and Comparative Law Quarterly. Hitler's secret Swiss bank account". Declassified intelligence documents at the US National Archives show that one of Hitler's closest confidantes opened the accounts at the Union Bank of Switzerland in Bern after the Fuhrer's book became required reading in German schools. The Fall of UBS: Swiss prosecutors seek widening of secrecy law to A Crack In the Swiss Vault". The Impact of the U.

Retrieved March 18, Retrieved May 20, The American-led attack on the Gnomes of Zurich has produced a backlash: Swiss bankers who spill the beans continue to do so at their peril. Was It a Crime? The New York Times. None had actually gone on trial. If you blow the whistle you are socially and financially dead. Retrieved June 1, Retrieved May 16, The subterranean vaults of Geneva and Zurich have served as sanctuaries for the wealth of dictators and despots, mobsters and arms dealers, corrupt officials and tax cheats of all kinds.

Retrieved May 17, Before the Second World War, with the rise of Nazism, many Jews in Central and East Europe sought to protect a part of their assets by depositing money in Swiss accounts, and their valuables in Swiss safe deposit boxes.

To encourage such transfers, in the Swiss even strengthened special banking secrecy laws which facilitated preservation of the anonymity of depositors. Switzerland has an underground bunker just for you". Retrieved May 14, Here's how you can get one".


Swiss secret bank account is under attack Swiss Banks are closing undeclared accounts. The USA and the European Union go after undeclared and secret bank accounts held by Swiss banks. Jan 22,  · DAVOS, Switzerland — The secret Swiss bank account is no longer what is used to be. For years the accounts were the basis of plots both real and imagined in which people hid cash to avoid the. As Switzerland’s private banks freeze undeclared bank accounts. The demise of secret bank accounts – Switzerland’s private banks face a new era of transparency “Swiss banking secrecy will no longer protect tax-neutral funds or undeclared accounts of clients who have committed tax evasion at home,” it warns.