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


Rep. Sue Homola: No right way to do the wrong thing

Union Leader 03 Dec 2023
The commission included members from both the House and Senate, the majority of whom support legalization in some form, and representatives from the fields of banking, health, law enforcement, and civil rights ... Under the Bank Secrecy Act, all proceeds generated by the sale of marijuana are unlawful, even if operating in compliance with state law....

Circle denies terror finance allegations and ties to Justin Sun

Cryptoslate 01 Dec 2023
Circle is subject to multiple regulatory regimes – including the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and applicable laws focused on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism – and has forcefully advocated for a comprehensive federal prudential regulatory regime in the United States,” Disparte wrote....

USDC Stablecoin Issuer Circle Rejects Accusations of Facilitating Illicit Financing

CryptoPotato 01 Dec 2023
... the company does not provide banking services to Justin Sun. It highlighted its adherence to various regulatory frameworks, including the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and laws targeting anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism. “Circle does not “bank” Justin Sun....

Judge Bars Former Binance CEO From Leaving US as the Court Weighs Government’s Request

Bitcoin 28 Nov 2023
A federal judge has barred former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) from leaving the U.S. until the court has made a decision on the U.S ... CZ Cannot Leave the U.S. for Now ... until sentencing ... Jones on Monday ... The government also filed a parallel information against Binance for failing to comply with provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act and U.S. sanctions law....

Former Binance CEO CZ Seeks to Dismiss Government’s Motion Blocking His Return to UAE Before Sentencing

Bitcoin 26 Nov 2023
Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is seeking to dismiss the U.S. government’s motion to prevent him from going home to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before sentencing ... The U.S ...The government also filed a parallel Information against Binance for failing to comply with provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act and U.S. sanctions law.” ... .......

Binance, FXCM, The Trading Pit and More: Executive Moves of the Week

Finance Magnates 26 Nov 2023
The investigation revolved around whether Binance violated the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires crypto exchanges conducting substantial business in the US to comply with anti-money laundering regulations ... Tradu will cater to traders and investors, complementing FXCM's existing services with integrated banking and payment solutions....

Martin Shkreli Tells CZ ‘Jail Ain’t so Bad,’ Speculates About Sentence

Bitcoin 25 Nov 2023
Zhao pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), with the Department of Justice (DOJ) stating that he had “violated federal law that requires financial institutions to guard against money laundering and terrorist financing.” ... Shkreli explained. ... This isn’t about ‘the law’ or protecting people....

Binance Shrinks, Coinbase Expands in Shifting Bitcoin Reserves

Finance Magnates 23 Nov 2023
In August, federal prosecutors sought extensive records associated with Zhao as part of an ongoing probe into potential violations of US financial crime laws. Primarily, these allegations revolve around Binance's purported breach of the Bank Secrecy Act by allowing transactions involving sanctioned individuals, among other regulatory concerns ... .......

Binance Founder Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charges as Company Hit with $4.3 Billion Fine

Democracy Now 22 Nov 2023
Meanwhile, Binance pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act, failing to register as a money transfer business and violating U.S. sanctions laws ... Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ... Cryptocurrency. ....

Budget 2024: The BDL, with its Council, will not fund a budget deficit approved by parliament under any circumstances

LBC International 22 Nov 2023
"Bank restructuring, reassessment of financial normalization (which determines the fate of deposits), approval of 'capital control,' and the amendment of the banking secrecy law once again to align with international standards emphasized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Otherwise, it means more deadly bids and populism!". ....

Binance’s new chapter begins with hefty fines and compliance commitments

Cryptoslate 22 Nov 2023
In a statement, the DOJ said that Binance violated financial laws including the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and failed to register as a money transmitting business ... customers in 2019 in compliance with the law ... Furthermore, the company said that it has teams staffed with more than 70 members to engage with law enforcement and share information ... .......

Binance’s American VIPs: A Revealing Look at High-Net-Worth Influence Amid DOJ Settlement

Bitcoin 22 Nov 2023
Department of Justice (DOJ), which reached a significant $4.316 billion settlement with the world’s largest crypto exchange for noncompliance with anti-money laundering (AML) laws ... As alleged within the unsealed court documents, Binance and ex-CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) violated AML laws and the Bank Secrecy Act among other agency regulations ... .......

Binance Suffers More Than $1 billion in Outflows Following CZ’s Resignation

Crypto Economy 22 Nov 2023
In the last 24 hours, Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, has witnessed significant financial movement with over $1 billion in net fund outflows ... These financial movements come after Zhao’s admission of guilt for violating the Bank Secrecy Law, followed by his resignation as CEO of the company ... by Wall Street ... .......