Anonymous Swiss Bank Accounts
Anonymous Bank Accounts are No Longer Available
Information about Swiss Banking on this website is for reference purposes only.
Swiss Banking Act of 1934
Bank secrecy was invented by the 1934 Swiss Banking Act following a public scandal in France, when MP Fabien Alberty denounced tax evasion by eminent French personalities, including politicians, judges, industrialists, church dignitaries and directors of newspapers, who were hiding their money in Switzerland. He called these men of "a particularly ticklish patriotism", who "probably are unaware that the money they deposit abroad is lent by Switzerland to Germany". The Peugeot brothers and Fran�ois Coty, of the famous perfume family, were on his list. Since then, Swiss banks have acquired world-wide celebrity due to their numbered bank accounts, which critics such as ATTAC NGO alleged only help legalized tax evasion, money laundering and more generally the underground economy. Under the principle of bank secrecy, privacy is statutorily enforced, with Swiss law strictly limiting any information shared with third parties, including tax authorities, foreign governments or even Swiss authorities, except when requested by a Swiss judge's subpoena. However anonymous banking is not strictly true as a term as all Swiss bank accounts, including numbered bank accounts, are linked to an identified individual under Swiss banking law. This law only permits a bank to share information with others in cases of severe criminal acts, such as identifying a terrorist's bank account. Any bank employee violating a client's privacy is punished quite severely by law. Many offshore banks, located in places such as in the Cayman Islands and Panama, also have strict privacy laws.
Reasons people used to use these features.
There are a number of reasons to use banking privacy:
* To hide it from friends, spouse or other family members.
* To hide it from the employer. (Many employers restrict the ability of their staff to trade shares to prevent conflicts of interest).
* To store embezzled money.
* To launder money.
* To prevent confiscation of money, e.g. in the case of potential bankruptcy.
* Tax evasion (banking secrecy extends to tax agencies being refused permission to examine accounts).
* Tax resistance (by libertarians, or others, who oppose the institution collecting the tax).
* Protection from over-bearing or corrupt local government agencies.
* Protection from litigation.
* For any other reason which requires no-one being able to identify the amount of money you have or have earned/acquired.
* Privacy from press or publicity. Many newspapers annually publish "rich lists", which are list of the richest people in a country or an area. Many factors including the size of an individual's bank balance can be taken into account in drawing conclusions as to the size of his wealth.
* Protection from criminals. In some countries, criminal gangs can access information on bank customers. This might interest criminals, such as kidnappers, extortionists, or identity thieves.
* Protection from solicitation. This might include charities, venture capitalists seeking seed money, family members, beggars, or investment salesmen.
* Simply for privacy. The possession of liquid wealth attracts publicity, which is not always welcome.
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Family Office and Wealth Management
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International Swiss Private Banking
Corporation, Trust and Foundation Formation
Swiss Bank Accounts
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