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, Lebanon, 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 numbered account, 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.

Latest News for: Bank secrecy laws

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Human and Civil Rights Groups Oppose the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act ...

Human Rights 17 Jul 2019
There are already thousands upon thousands of federal criminal laws and these new crimes are unnecessary and duplicative. This is already effectively enforced under the civil, criminal, and administrative law regime surrounding the Bank Secrecy Act and its numerous anti-money laundering requirements, including the Know Your Customer Rule....
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‘Demographic change, bank infra will help savings grow’

The Hindu 16 Jul 2019
“If you are working within the law and are helping the economy grow, then profits are good!” ... “The only place data is really secure in India is the banks because of the banking secrecy legislation,” Mr ... “As and when the privacy law comes, then others will be the same, but for now only the data in banks is secure in that way.” .......
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Singapore the big winner of Hong Kong’s chaos

Asiatimes 09 Jul 2019
The Southeast Asian city-state, likewise known for its modern banking and financial services, is widely seen as an attractive ... Banking secrecy laws make it difficult to estimate the true extent of private wealth outflows ... There is also banking secrecy,” Chong of NUS told Asia Times....
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EDITORIAL - Bank secrecy exemption

The Philippine Star 05 Jul 2019
Once more with feeling, Sen. Panfilo Lacson has refiled one of his pet measures. the exemption of government officials from bank secrecy laws ... ....
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BSP chief asks Congress to ease bank secrecy law

Inquirer 04 Jul 2019
MANILA, Philippines---The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has asked Congress to ease the country's restrictive bank secrecy laws to ......
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Lacson bill exempts public servants from Bank Secrecy Law

Inquirer 03 Jul 2019
26 which seeks to exempt public servants from the Bank Secrecy Law (Republic Act No ... The proposed measure amends the Bank Secrecy Law to ......
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Customs Agency Cash Seizures at Airports Cost Travelers Millions

Voa News 03 Jul 2019
anti-money laundering law is costing international travelers millions of dollars a year, raising concerns of civil liberties’ advocates that many innocent people are unwittingly being swept up by a statute designed to catch criminals. The law, known as the Bank Secrecy Act, requires travelers leaving and entering the U.S....
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Easing of bank secrecy, consumer protection top BSP agenda

The Philippine Star 30 Jun 2019
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has prioritized amendments to the bank deposit secrecy law as well as consumer protection in its legislative wish list for the next Congress ... ....
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Congress will rally behind DU30 dev’t agenda — Romualdez

Journal Online 30 Jun 2019
Also included were measures containing amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and Bank Secrecy Law, as well as the Security of Tenure Bill, Budget Reform Act, National Land Use Act, the Rightsizing of the National Government, Trabaho bill or TRAIN 2, and taxes on mining, alcohol and tobacco....
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Romualdez boosts Duterte development plan

Journal Online 30 Jun 2019
Also included were measures containing amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and Bank Secrecy Law, as well as the Security of Tenure Bill, Budget Reform Act, National Land Use Act, the Rightsizing of the National Government, Trabaho bill or TRAIN 2, and taxes on Mining, Alcohol and Tobacco....
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Deutsche Bank Should Be Investigated On Jared Kushner And Donald Trump 'Questions of Impropriety': Watchdog

Newsweek 19 Jun 2019
... clients President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. In its letter to the FRS, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) cited recent reports that Deutsche Bank had a lax approach to money laundering laws and possibly violated the Bank Secrecy Act....
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FBR poised for action against benami account holders

The News International 30 May 2019
Sources said banks are reluctant to provide details of all the financial transactions through monthly withholding statements owing to restrictions under banking secrecy laws ... Sources said banks are reluctant to provide details of all the financial transactions through monthly withholding statements owing to restrictions under banking secrecy laws....
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‘Consider PH credit standing in okaying tax reforms’

The Manila Times 24 May 2019
... raise excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol; increase the government’s share from mining operations; lift bank secrecy laws and ensure the automatic exchange of tax information; reforming the property valuation system of local governments; and rationalizing capital income taxation....
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