November 30, 2018
Switzerland has become a hive of rich honey to which foreign investment comes in general and fraudsters.
Since 1934, the year in which the government has passed a law by which a bank could not disclose the owner, nor the content, nor the movements of bank accounts recorded there, has managed to attract large deposits from all countries in the world.
Account holders from around the world
According to consultancy BCG Perspectives, Switzerland hoards 2.2 trillion dollars of funds evaded from other countries. It is the leader of this obscure classification followed by Hong Kong and Singapore (1.2 trillion dollars), several Caribbean island countries and Panama (1.1 trillion). In the world total, more than 21 trillion dollars that escape to the treasury, according to the activist group of lawyers Tax Justice Network. Although some sources believe that the actual amount is even higher and could reach 32 trillion dollars.
However, since 2009 Switzerland has experienced a new scenario. That year, Herve Falciani, who worked in the largest private bank in the world (HSBC), stole 80,000 names of companies and individuals with their secret accounting data.
Another sequel is that the principle of tax secrecy has suffered losses and Switzerland has signed agreements with various countries that provide for the transmission of client data in specific cases when there is suspicion of a crime.
Switzerland’s financial services sector has traditionally been conservative, resists risk strategies and gains a reputation for sound management that makes Swiss banks attractive to international depositors.
SW Consulting SA which provides IT services for the banking sector. They also say that because financial services represent such as important part of the Swiss economy, the government is quick to face problems that could threaten the stability of banks. As the CIA points out in its “World Factbook,” when the country’s largest banks were hit hard by the global recession in 2008-09, the government rushed to intervene. Finally, Switzerland’s long history of political neutrality also gives an air of stability and security.
Swiss banking regulations are among the strictest in the world in terms of the disclosure of account information. In Switzerland, it is a crime, not just a civil offense to violate bank confidentiality laws, and all bank employees must sign confidentiality agreements. Both institutions and individuals can be prosecuted for violating these laws and people can be and have been, sent to prison. That does not mean that the law cannot access account information, but any request must meet very specific criteria.
Strict privacy controls have led to a misconception that Swiss accounts are that Swiss accounts are “secret” or “anonymous”. In fact, they are neither this nor the other. By law, banks must know and verify the identity of each account holder. Even if you open a “numbered” high-security account, in which all transactions are carried out using only an account number, instead of a name, bank officials will still have to know who you are. Another erroneous belief is that Swiss law protects bank deposits without exceptions, even if they are the product of crime. In fact, Swiss bank accounts can be examined if criminal activity is suspected, and they can be seized if discovered, as in other countries.
Swiss banks will honor a foreign government’s request to obtain information if that government can identify a specific account and show evidence that the account contains money from an activity that constitutes a crime in both countries. This on occasion offered an important escape for the thieves, because the Swiss legislation did not criminalize many of the financial activities that other countries have banned.
Since the 1980s, Switzerland has been moving its financial legislation in accordance with the laws of other Western countries, gradually closing the legal vacuum. This only applies to criminal cases, however, not to civil matters. For example, if a couple is involved in a battle for divorce and one of the spouses’ suspects that the other has hidden assets in an account in Switzerland, the bank has no obligation to provide information since no one has been alleged crime.
Article shared by Adam who is personal chartered accountant at Fruxinfo web design agency.