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


Pangan: It's about time

Sun Star 18 Aug 2019
For a start, the probers could use as references the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALNs) required by law of the officials to submit them on time, bank accounts barring the bank secrecy law, assessors' records for their properties which are hidden under layers ......

What happened to the proposed amendments to Bank Secrecy Act?

The Manila Times 14 Aug 2019
However, there seems to be no discussion yet on any proposed amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act, Republic Act (RA) 1405, as amended, particularly the proposed amendments to Section 6 of the National Internal Revenue Code (Tax Code) ... Cabochan III, proposing amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act ... The call to relax our bank secrecy laws is not new....

More sin taxes govt’s priority

The Manila Times 11 Aug 2019
The Department of Finance (DoF) will prioritize the passage of additional “sin” taxes under the Package 2 Plus B of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said late last week ... Other remaining packages under CTRP are.. • Package 1B, which seeks reforms in the Motor Vehicle Users’ Charge and the bank secrecy law; ... ....

From Jeffrey Epstein to Donald Trump, Deutsche Bank Protected Wealthy Clients

The Daily Beast 10 Aug 2019
Deutsche Bank filed this SAR as it sought to distance itself from the financier—and years after concerns about Epstein’s accounts had been flagged internally, according to the Times ... banking operations to maintain an effective program to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering laws....

Buhari signs AMCON Bill, others into law

Business Day Online 07 Aug 2019
It also empowers AMCON to obtain information in respect of any private account together with all bank financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution, banking secrecy, and the protection of customer confidentiality is not a ground for the denial of the power of the Corporation under this section.’’....

Biz groups: Prioritize passing key bills

The Manila Times 30 Jul 2019
In a joint statement, the groups said the bills they would like to see passed include amendments to the Public Service, Foreign Investment and Retail Trade acts and the Build-Operate-Transfer and Bank Secrecy laws; the Apprenticeship Program Reform; the Freedom of Information Act; and the lifting of foreign-equity restrictions....

Tributes paid to Northern Ireland-born barrister known as 'the world's nicest judge'

Belfast Telegraph 30 Jul 2019
... Grammar School and studied law at Queen's University Belfast ... Strict secrecy laws on banking meant Mr Quin could not get a court order to compel witnesses to testify, but he was still able to secure enough information to prove that Mr Haughey had lied about taking the money....

‘Pass Trabaho bill, other tax measures’

The Manila Times 22 Jul 2019
AP PHOTO ...Package 1B, which seeks to reform the Motor Vehicle Users’ Charge, lift the bank secrecy law, and the automatic exchange of tax information; ... This law reduced personal income taxes in exchange for higher excise taxes on certain products, including automobiles, coal and sugar-sweetened beverages. Loading. ....

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....

‘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.” .......

Facebook’s testimony to Congress: Libra will be regulated by Swiss

Crunch 15 Jul 2019
“The Libra Association will also maintain policies and procedures with respect to AML and the Bank Secrecy Act, combating the financing of terrorism, and other national security-related laws, with which its members will be required to comply if they choose to provide financial services on the Libra network.”....

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....

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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