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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Govt tax effort improves to 15.7% in Jan-Sept

The Manila Times 08 Nov 2019
... levels,” Security Bank Corp ... • Package 1B, which seeks reforms in the motor vehicle users’ charge and the Bank Secrecy Law; ... This law reduced personal income taxes in exchange for higher excise taxes on certain products, including automobiles, coal and sugar-sweetened beverages....
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RBI launches probe after IDBI lets LIC access client data

The Hindu 07 Nov 2019
... and other agencies, banks shall satisfy themselves that the information being sought is not of such a nature as will violate the provisions of law relating to secrecy in the banking transaction....
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Feature: "The Hub" uncovers civilized aspect in Lebanon's protests

Xinhua 07 Nov 2019
Berri pledged to put on the agenda several laws and proposals, including the anti-corruption law, a law for social security for the elderly, and important laws submitted by a number of deputies concerning the recuperation of squandered public funds and the lifting of banking secrecy....
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Lebanon parliament to study laws proposed by civil society: speaker

Xinhua 05 Nov 2019
... by a number of deputies concerning the recuperation of squandered public funds and the lifting of banking secrecy," Berri was quoted as saying by Elnashra, an online independent newspaper....
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The rise and the fall of Sa’ad Hariri

Gulf News 01 Nov 2019
... Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and son-in-law of President Michel Aoun ... They also asked that his government lift secrecy laws on the bank account of prominent politicians, in order to freeze those exceeding $100 million (Dh367.8 million)....
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Newsmaker: The rise and the fall of Sa’ad Hariri

Gulf News 01 Nov 2019
... Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and son-in-law of President Michel Aoun ... They also asked that his government lift secrecy laws on the bank account of prominent politicians, in order to freeze those exceeding $100 million (Dh367.8 million)....
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Lebanon’s Saad Hariri Has Resigned. But Protesters Still Aren’t Content

Time Magazine 30 Oct 2019
Banks and universities remain closed ... That amount is pocket change compared the tens, or even hundreds of billions of dollars the demonstrators say was stolen by their politicians, aided by bank secrecy laws. They say that want those laws lifted and the money back in the public coffers....
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Hezbollah Warns of Chaos, Civil War in Lebanon

Hamodia 27 Oct 2019
Banks remain closed and have said they will only reopen when life returns to normal ... Nasrallah praised the protest movement for forcing the government to agree a state budget without new taxes and “unprecedented” reforms including draft laws to lift banking secrecy, recover looted wealth and fight corruption....
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Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Taps $10,000, President Xi Endorses Blockchain, Libra Under Fire

NewsBTC 26 Oct 2019
Firms dealing with digital assets, he remarked, are still subject to the Bank Secrecy Act, “whether you are a stablecoin, centralized, decentralized crypto.” He asserted that this has to be the case due to the potential that individuals on the other side of cryptocurrency ......
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Hezbollah warns of chaos in Lebanon, rejects protesters’ demands to bring down govt

Russia Today 25 Oct 2019
Nasrallah praised the protest movement for forcing the government to agree a state budget without new taxes and “unprecedented” reforms including draft laws to lift banking secrecy, ......
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Lebanon’s shuttered banks bracing for dollar run

Asiatimes 25 Oct 2019
“The fact that banks are closed is a telltale sign they’re afraid of a bank run happening ... Protesters who have taken to the streets should push for lifting immunity and banking secrecy laws that shield current and former ministers from public scrutiny, she added....
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Protests in Lebanon Are Entering Their Sixth Day. See How the Extraordinary Revolt Is Unfolding

Time Magazine 22 Oct 2019
High, cement blast walls surrounding the United Nations offices in central Beirut are covered with anti-government graffiti ... Lebanese protesters say their politicians have stolen tens, or even hundreds, of billions of dollars from them, aided by laws that allow bank secrecy ... 18, 2019 ... In recent weeks, banks have restricted the withdrawal of U.S....
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Pangan: Friend-celebrators

Sun Star 20 Oct 2019
On lifting the bank secrecy law ... The reason? The stiff bank secrecy law ... Now, the Department of Finance is urging Congress to pass a legislation to ease the bank secrecy law to allow authorities to legally look into the bank accounts of individuals suspected of fraud and other offenses....
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