Swiss Banking Institutions

When one thinks of offshore banking, here in Europe, one thinks of the time honoured tradition of a Swiss Bank Account. Switzerland has been renowned as a neutral country with a strict adherence to privacy and confidentiality of clients and transactions. It is synonymous with professional, completely discreet and secure banking. Traditionally, individuals have looked to Swiss offshore accounts to safeguard their substantial assets and to eradicate the need to pay substantial onshore tax.

The stalwart history of Swiss Banks is their provenance. For literally hundreds of years, from the time of Louis XIV of France, through the French Revolution and two World Wars, Swiss Bank Accounts have been safeguarding finances and assets from undue taxation or civil unrest. Seen as the leader for international banking, Switzerland has provided all of these offshore services to the discerning investor.

One of the main reasons for the success of Swiss Banking is the sophisticated legislation that supports the private banking institutions in shielding assets from public scrutiny. The world-wide reputation earned by this landlocked offshore jurisdiction is as a result of the regulations concerning offshore banking which dictate specific parameters for its banking institutions that provide for the security and confidentiality of foreign deposit bank accounts. The complete professionalism and total reliability of Swiss Banks, coupled with its strong political and economic environment ensure the most stable offshore banking environment of anywhere in the world.


The History of Modern-Day Swiss Banking

The total confidentiality of the Swiss Bank can find its roots in the 1934 Swiss Banking Legislation. Switzerland was pressurised on both sides by politics from France and Germany. The fascist Germany of the Nazis and the weakening French Government were both pressurising Swiss Banks into divulging information about depositors to enable the seizing of assets of their countrymen, for various reasons. The response of the neutral Swiss government was to pass legislation enhancing the protection of these same depositors. This legislation set out the regulations concerning banking account confidentiality within the law of the land and ensured criminal penalties for those breaching this privacy. The laws were complex and sound, without room to manoeuvre in terms of confidentiality of the account holder. This legislation stands today and is completely inflexible with regard to the releasing of any information of depositor or transactions. The only exception to this is in the case of a serious criminal (such as organised crime or money-laundering) or terrorism allegation from a foreign government. Even then substantial evidence must be provided to the Swiss authorities before the case can even be considered before this shield of privacy can be penetrated to the minutest degree.

Even allegations of tax evasion, as the law stands, are highly unlikely to penetrate the confidentiality rules regulations of a Swiss banking institution. This would be perceived as a misdemeanour at worst within Swiss legislation and, therefore, not considered serious enough to counteract or compromise the strong laws in place. As stated above, the case must be incredibly serious for a country such as Switzerland to compromise its privacy legislation.

An educated estimate would gauge that Swiss Banks account for a third of all monies contained within offshore bank accounts. With the vast number of offshore jurisdictions in the world, this is truly a substantial amount. Switzerland is considered to be the epitome of offshore banking in terms of a stable, private and confidential offshore environment.


Swiss Numbered Bank Accounts

One often hears the term ‘Swiss numbered bank account’ in high octane or glamorous films such as the Bond-style genres. Do they actually exist or are they the urban myth generated by a fiction writer? In actual fact, you can get a Swiss numbered bank account. It is merely a Swiss Account that is associated with a number instead of a name, albeit the epitome of a numbered account. The numbered account does, in fact, have a name associated with this account but the identity of the individual is a closely guarded secret with only one or two high-ranking banking officials being privy to this information. Naturally, this type of account provides an additional layer of secrecy and confidentiality to the holder and, indeed is a perfectly legitimate banking strategy. Say, for instance, a company would like to accumulate assets or monies in one place, without alerting the competition, in order to be ready to act in a merger or high level acquisition at short notice. By using a Swiss numbered account, the business or individual has that extra layer of secrecy which stops the media from acquiring information or other sources from supplying information which would stop the transaction. Except for the aforementioned cases where the institution is legally obliged to share information, The Swiss numbered bank account is the closest one can get to absolute secrecy surrounding an offshore account.


Swiss Banking Today

With its long-standing association with the world’s finances, the perception of a Swiss Bank could be one of a series of dated institution, set in their ways and which don’t move with the times and, therefore, could become obsolete in time. This could not be further from the truth. Some older banking institutions do, in fact, get left behind when technology advances at a pace and so cease to exist. Switzerland has long understood the maxim ‘evolve or die’ and, as an offshore jurisdiction, has adapted rapidly to address the changes in modern life and modern banking. In the last few years Swiss Banks have made huge strides to develop the ultimate in technological offshore banking: encryption security technologies, electronic funds transfers, internet banking etc. Swiss Banking, if not leading the way, is certainly at the forefront of the modern technological age. Wire transfer of assets and electronic signatures are now the order of business.

Swiss Banking, with its technology and assured discretion, is the ultimate answer to the offshore banking question. It has always, and continues to, provide a practical, effective solution to the safeguarding assets, whether monetary or property. Whether your finances need to be shielded from economic or political unrest, taxation, legal duress or even divorce, a Swiss Bank Account could be the perfect solution to your requirements.

If you are interested in finding out why Swiss banking, Swiss bank account setup information or bank account costs, contact one of our advisers at The Offshore Company UK where they will be able to help you choose the right offshore jurisdiction for you.