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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6 countries where millionaires are moving and how these nations help protect and grow their investments

Business Insider 25 May 2024
Amoils explains that many millionaires are likely attracted to Australia because of their immigration laws, which award points to candidates based on age, education, professional experience, and ability to speak English ... It also still has a strong reputation because of its banking secrecy laws....
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What are they hiding?: Gaming Control Board plays by a different set of rules

Las Vegas Review-Journal 24 May 2024
Lately, reporters have been unable to get key information about the investigation of former MGM Grand and Resorts World executive Scott Sibella, who pleaded guilty to violating federal Bank Secrecy Act laws involving his failure to file suspicious transactions reports on bookmakers gambling illegally in casinos when he was president of MGM Grand....
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Nevada Gaming Control Board won’t disclose investigation records

Las Vegas Review-Journal 23 May 2024
Lately, reporters have been unable to get key information about the investigation of former MGM Grand and Resorts World executive Scott Sibella, who pleaded guilty to violating federal Bank Secrecy Act laws involving his failure to file suspicious transactions reports on bookmakers gambling illegally in casinos when he was president of MGM Grand....
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‘I don’t need to tell you where I got this from’: Woman says she made ...

The Daily Dot 21 May 2024
A TikToker was left shocked after their bank reportedly "interrogated" them on their own money deposits ... I deposited some money into the bank, and they've asked me two different times … where it's from." ... The $10,000 threshold for bank and credit union deposits was created by the Bank Secrecy Act in 1970....

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