How Swiss Bank Accounts Work

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Banking in Switzerland
Swiss Federal Banking Commission. An expat's guide to Swiss taxes. Historically, Swiss banking has offered: The Great Council of Geneva , in , established regulations that required bankers to keep registers of their clients but prohibited them from sharing the information with anyone except the client-unless the City Council agreed with the need to divulge information. Founded in , the BIS chose to locate in Switzerland because of the country's neutrality , which was important to the organization founded by countries that had been enemies in World War I. If, during the inspection, the bank finds a potential or existing customer connected to criminal activity, a Swiss judge or prosecutor allows an investigation. The first handover of information was expected in January


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". Retrieved May 15, A broker dealer, at the request of the customer, may open an account that is simply identified by a number or a symbol, as long as there is a statement signed by the customer attesting to the ownership of the account. Retrieved May 12, Berkeley Journal of International Law.

Federal Department of Finance. General Reference Center Gold. The first handover of information was expected in January Tax evasion is a criminal offence in many countries. Even if you don't try to hide your money, having an account overseas may complicate your tax situation so it's best to speak to an experienced professional advisor before investing.

You can read more in a financial expert's explanation on offshore investment , or get an overview of offshore banking in Switzerland. Post your question on Expatica's free Ask the Expert service to see if we can help.

If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know. Expatica makes every effort to ensure its articles are as comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we're also grateful for any help! If you want to contact Expatica for any other reason, please follow the instructions on this website's contact page. How to open a Swiss bank account. Offshore banking in Switzerland. Expat guide to offshore investment.

How to invest your money wisely. Discover how to save time and money, by managing your finances and overseas transactions with ease. Join the event for pursuing an international career in the Netherlands, featuring a range of employers and presentations. Banking in Switzerland 0 comments A guide to banking in Switzerland, plus information on confidentiality and security deposits required to open a Swiss bank account for investments.

Why bank in Switzerland? Switzerland is a popular investment destination for a number of reasons. Historically, Swiss banking has offered: Limitations on foreign investment in Switzerland Swiss banks do not limit foreign investment. Minimum expected investment Private banks will typically not accept clients with a sum less than CHF , to invest. Choosing where to invest If you invest with a Swiss bank in Switzerland, it will follow Swiss law.

Opening a Swiss bank account while abroad Expect to prove your identity, address, professional status and the source of any funds deposited. You can authenticate documents by: Investing if you are resident in Switzerland The same concerns and limitations listed below apply to resident foreigners as well as non-residents in Switzerland, although it is obviously easier for residents in Switzerland to open a Swiss investment account just by contacting their current bank and making an appointment with their account manager.

Fees, charges and returns on investment Both predicted and actual returns on investment are highly variable. Tax in Switzerland and your home country Opening a Swiss bank account — even a numbered one — does not exempt you from paying tax in your home country, your country of residence or both, if you are a US citizen , or in Switzerland. Updated ; July Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.

Characters are case sensitive. It was after Germans began being put to death for holding Swiss accounts that the Swiss government was even more convinced of the need for bank secrecy.

In , the people of Switzerland once again voted in favor of maintaining bank secrecy -- by a whopping 73 percent. And, after the war many were not allowed to recover their assets because their documentation was gone.

Swiss banks have come under fire in recent years because of their actions towards Jewish account holders after World War II and also because money that German Nazis plundered from defeated countries and their prisoners was held in Swiss banks. Christoph Meili, a former bank security guard, exposed the bank he worked for, saying that they destroyed records of people murdered in the Holocaust so that their money would not be returned to their heirs.

According to Eizenstat, "Although there is no evidence that Switzerland or other neutral countries knowingly accepted victim gold It's assumed that the Swiss feared possible invasion from neighboring Germany. After the war, to ensure that there could be no Nazi return to power, the Allies held or disposed of German external assets to prevent their return to German ownership or control. A plan was also made to take care of Nazi victims who needed aid. Switzerland was invited to discuss issues as a result of the Paris agreement.

In return, according to Eizenstat, the United States, United Kingdom and French governments agreed to "waive in their name and of their banks of issue all claims against the government of Switzerland and the Swiss National Bank in connection with gold acquired from Germany by Switzerland.

Recognized claims against the monetary gold pool greatly exceeded the amount of monetary gold actually recovered. So the TGC established a proportional redistribution system which established that each country would receive approximately 65 percent of its recognized claim.


Banking in Switzerland is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which derives its authority from a series of federal statutes. ­James Bond enters a Swiss bank in Spain and is frisked before he can meet with the banker. In the "Da Vinci Code," a triangular-shaped key activates a robotic arm that pulls a safety deposit box from the wall in a Swiss bank in Paris to ultimately reveal the secret to Christianity. The funny thing. A guide to banking in Switzerland, plus information on confidentiality and security deposits required to open a Swiss bank account for investments. The Swiss have become world leaders in private banking and asset management for individuals. Switzerland has been known for its sophisticated and.