Bank Secrecy

Bank secrecy (or bank privacy) is a legal principle in some jurisdictions under which banks are not allowed to provide to authorities personal and account information about their customers unless certain conditions apply (for example, a criminal complaint has been filed). In some cases, additional privacy is provided to beneficial owners through the use of numbered bank accounts or otherwise. Bank secrecy is prevalent in certain countries such as Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg, as well as offshore banks and other tax havens under voluntary or statutory privacy provisions.

Created by the Swiss Banking Act of 1934, which led to the famous Swiss bank, the principle of bank secrecy is always considered one of the main aspects of private banking. It has also been accused by NGOs and governments of being one of the main instruments of underground economy and organized crime, in particular following the class action suit against the Vatican Bank in the 1990s, the Clearstream scandal and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Former bank employees from banks in Switzerland (UBS, Julius Baer) and Liechtenstein (LGT Group) have testified that their former institutions helped clients evade billions of dollars in taxes by routing money through offshore havens in the Caribbean and Switzerland. One of these, Rudolf M. Elmer, wrote, "It is a global problem...Offshore tax evasion is the biggest theft among societies and neighbor states in this world." The Swiss Parliament ratified on June 17, 2010 an agreement between the Swiss and the United States governments allowing UBS to transmit to the US authorities information concerning 4,450 American clients of UBS suspected of tax evasion.

Advances in financial cryptography (e.g. public-key cryptography) could make it possible to use anonymous electronic money and anonymous digital bearer certificates for financial privacy and anonymous Internet banking, given enabling institutions (e.g. issuers of such certificates and digital cash) and secure computer systems.

Read more about Bank SecrecySwiss Banking Act of 1934, Actions By European Countries, Bank Secrecy in Popular Culture

Other articles related to "bank secrecy, banks, bank, secrecy":

Bank Secrecy in Popular Culture
... The notion of Swiss banks and secret numbered accounts has been widely used in post-war literature and cinema ...
Anonymous Banking
... Bank secrecy (or bank privacy) is a legal principle in some jurisdictions under which banks are not allowed to provide to authorities personal and account information about their ... is provided to beneficial owners through the use of numbered bank accounts or otherwise ... Bank secrecy is prevalent in certain countries such as Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg, as well as offshore banks and other tax havens under voluntary or ...
Anonymous Banking - Swiss Banking Act of 1934
... Main article Banking in Switzerland See also Tax evasion in Switzerland Bank secrecy was codified by the 1934 Swiss Banking Act following a public scandal in France, when MP Fabien Alberty ... Since then, Swiss banks have acquired worldwide celebrity due to their numbered bank accounts, which critics such as ATTAC NGO alleged only help legalized tax evasion, money laundering and ... Alternatively, secrecy laws allowed at the same period Jews and others to escape from Nazi Germany without losing everything ...

Famous quotes containing the words secrecy and/or bank:

    Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance. There is as much secrecy about the cooking as if he had a design to poison you.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    We bank over Boston. I am safe. I put on my hat.
    I am almost someone going home. The story has ended.
    Anne Sexton (1928–1974)