Swiss Banking Confidentiality

Swiss Banking Confidentiality

Since the inception of Swiss Offshore Accounts, privacy and confidentiality has been the order of business. The 1934 Swiss Banking Law was introduced to guarantee that privacy when Switzerland was under pressure from its neighbours, France & Germany in the run-up to the Second World War. This legislation ensured that no information could be divulged by Swiss Banks to a third party, even a foreign government and that to do so would result in criminal charges being brought against the bank and its employees. Swiss Bankers have a fiduciary obligation to their clients which is based in law so anyone found to be sharing privileged information can expect to be tried of a criminal offence and to serve time in prison.

With these strict penalties in operation and with the integrity of the Swiss Financial Institutions, an individual’s privacy is assured. The only exception to this, as discussed in our main section on Swiss Banking, would be in the case of a serious criminal offence. If a foreign government were to be able to prove severe criminality, such as money-laundering or terrorism, then the Swiss courts would compel the banking institutions to share information that may pertain to this. Even so, these requests are rarely granted.

In terms of Swiss law, a serious criminal offence would not constitute tax evasion, for instance. Tax evasion is seen as a misdemeanour as the possibility of a genuine error is too great. This means in practical terms that if an individual’s home jurisdiction were trying to prosecute on tax evasion charges, the Swiss Offshore Banking Legislation would not permit the divulging of any bank account or asset information to either their own government or any foreign government. The crime would have to be punishable (and provable) in a Swiss Criminal Court for any bank to be compelled to impart any information about an investor / depositor.

Following this line of legal thought, as a civil matter, divorce or probate litigation would not be sufficient cause for a Swiss Court to compel a Swiss Offshore Bank to share information about offshore account holders or monies held in the accounts.

This is why it is correctly perceived that the strong Swiss offshore banking legislation ensures the strictest banking confidentiality of anywhere in the world.

Swiss Numbered Bank Accounts

A Swiss numbered bank account has long been the stuff of fictional spy thrillers and is one of the most frequently asked questions: does a numbered offshore Swiss account actually exist? Indeed it does. A numbered account provides an additional layer of security to the Swiss Offshore Bank Account. Instead of being associated with the name of the company or individual, the bank account is associated with a number. The name of the depositor only is known to a couple of high ranking Swiss banking officials. Why would anyone have a numbered account? Quite simply: secrecy. And for legitimate purposes, too. If, for example, a company was planning a hostile take-over or simply a straightforward acquisition of another entity, then it would be in the best interests of the purchasing company for complete secrecy to be maintained at all levels. By storing the funding for this business deal within a Swiss numbered account it would be possible to ensure confidentiality from any outside sources, including the media.

Numbered Swiss offshore accounts are not totally anonymous, however, as the information needed to open this type of account is the same as an ordinary account. The only difference is that not all employees of the bank have access to the identity of the depositor.

Additional Banking Measures

Swiss banking always has and always will be known as the epitome of banking privacy and banking security. However, there are sometimes situations where it is necessary to take additional measures to enhance that secrecy. Sometimes it is important that the paper trail does not lead back to an individual. In these cases, one can establish an offshore company (in any jurisdiction) and setup a swiss bank account, for example, in the name of the offshore company instead of the individual.

As noted above, Offshore Banking Legislation in Switzerland is the strictest of any offshore location anywhere in the world. It is only a case of a very serious criminal offence that would breach this security. Even then, strong evidence would have to be presented to a Swiss Court before any information could be divulged to a foreign government. As discussed before, Tax Evasion is not considered to be a criminal offence and, therefore, no information could possibly be shared with a third party if this were the charge. Having said this, however, as a responsible and ethical company, The Offshore Company UK recommends that you comply with the taxation legislation of your home jurisdiction.

Swiss Offshore Banking offers a myriad of advantages to residents of the UK and EU plus, of course, the wider world. It is imperative that anyone considering a Swiss offshore bank account should completely understand how all of these benefits can be fully enjoyed. A trusted offshore services company can advise you with this and help you to devise your offshore strategy and ensure that all the features and security you require are addressed therein. The Offshore Company UK has over 30 years experience within the offshore industry and has enabled tens of thousands of individuals and businesses to reap the benefits of investing offshore. Our Swiss offshore consultants can design an offshore strategy that will provide complete privacy and asset protection through a Swiss Offshore Company and / or Swiss Offshore Banking.

Banking in Switzerland should be conducted properly so that all of the advantages are maximized. This should be done with a trusted provider that offers the features and security for which you are seeking. OffshoreCompany.co.uk has assisted with thousands of banking needs and can design a privacy plan that maximizes all of the security and privacy strengths that offshore companies and Swiss bank accounts provide.