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Swiss Bank Account Privacy Laws

Swiss Bank Accounts

There are a number of reasons why Swiss bank accounts are among the most highly regarded accounts in the world.

1. The “Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation” and the “Swiss Banking Act” guarantee the right to privacy, including, but not limited to Swiss bank account privacy.

 

The following is an article directly out of the Swiss Constitution.

“Article 13 Right to Privacy
“1 All persons have the right to receive respect for their private and family life, home, and secrecy of the mails and telecommunications.

“2 All persons have the right to be protected against the abuse of personal data.”

The Swiss Banking Act provides for criminal punishment against anyone who reveals private information about a Swiss bank account or anyone who induces others to violate the privacy of a Swiss bank account.

Article 47 of the Swiss Banking Act provides for criminal sanctions (imprisonment for no longer than six months or a fine of not more than 50,000 Swiss francs – nearly $40,000 US) against anyone who divulges confidential information entrusted to him or of which he has become aware in his capacity as an officer or employee of a bank, and against anyone who tries to induce others to violate professional confidentiality.

Article 47, therefore, was enacted in order to attract wealth and as a means of protecting people in need of financial protection.

Swiss Bank account client privacy has many legal foundations in Switzerland. Privacy laws for Swiss bank accounts are specifically written in the Swiss Civil Code. The banker is specifically obligated under the contractual obligation to protect and guarantee the confidentiality of the client’s Swiss bank account.

Article 47 (Art. 47) of the Swiss Banking Act, Paragraph 1 reads as follows:
“Whoever divulges a secret entrusted to him or of which he has become aware in his capacity as officer, employee, mandatory, liquidator or commissioner of a bank, as representative of the Banking Commission, officer or employee of a recognized auditing company and whoever tries to induce others to violate professional secrecy, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than SFr. 50,000” (nearly $40,000 USD).

 

Naturally, as in any responsible, reputable and highly respected banking center such as Switzerland, the privacy laws are not meant to be open doors for criminal activity. Terrorists, drug dealers, money launderers and inside traders beware. A Swiss bank account is not a haven for the criminal.

With virtual all serious crimes a Swiss judge can order the privacy rights to be curtailed when criminal proceedings are underway. So, the goal is to protect honest, law-abiding bank clients; whereas, criminals will be exposed to the full extent of the law. In the rare event when this transpires, the case is brought before a Swiss judge. If the violation in the foreign country is also a crime in Switzerland and the judge so rules, then, and only then, can the Swiss bank account information be revealed.

Later, if one is interested in the minute details, one can read in-depth information in English by going to the Swiss Justice and Police Ministry’s website at www.ofj.admin.ch. Here, one will later find a ‘Checklist for Foreign Requests for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.’

The latter portion of Article 47 of the Banking Act, as one can see in Paragraph 4, it states: “Federal and Cantonal regulations concerning the obligation to testify and to furnish information to a government authority shall apply.” This section refers to rare instances when Swiss bank accounts are utilized for illicit purposes or used to store criminal proceeds.

Banking has long been a business principled on trust and confidentiality. Historically, the banker did not scream the details of the bank’s clients in the public square. Confidential treatment of banking client information has been in existence from the beginning of banking history. However it was not originally in the form of written laws. For people with Swiss bank accounts, however, privacy and confidentiality has long been written in specified legal code and protected under civil and criminal law. The Swiss Banking Act was enacted in 1934 and now, as then, contains articles such that any violation of bank-client privacy is a criminal offence.

2. Economic freedom is guaranteed

The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation also guarantees economic freedom. Read the following which is directly from the Swiss constitution.

“Article 27 Economic Freedom
“1 Economic freedom is guaranteed.
“2 It contains particularly the freedom to choose one’s profession, and to enjoy free access to and free exercise of private economic activity.”

3. The financial industry, including Swiss Banks, are protected and the safety is regulated by the Swiss Confederation.

Read the following which is directly from the Swiss constitution.

“Article 98 Banking and Insurance
“1 The Confederation shall legislate on banking and stock exchanges; it shall take into account the specific task and position of the cantonal banks.
“2 It may legislate on financial services in other fields.
“3 It shall legislate on private insurance.”

4. Economic safety principles are written into the Swiss constitution

“Section 7: Economy
“Article 94 Principles of Economic Order
“1 The Confederation and the Cantons shall respect the principle of economic freedom.
“2 They shall safeguard the interests of the national economy and, together with the private sector of the economy, contribute to the welfare and economic security of the population.
“3 Within the limits of their powers, they shall strive to create favorable conditions for the private sector of the economy.
“4 Derogations from the principle of economic freedom, in particular measures against competition, shall be allowed only if foreseen by the Federal Constitution or based on cantonal monopolies.”

So, Swiss banks are among the most highly regarded banks worldwide due to the safety and privacy that is embedded in the Swiss Constitution, various legal acts and the enforcement of constitutional economic safety principles in the Swiss banking industry.

To open a Swiss bank account, call Companies Incorporated at 1-800-830-1055 or internationally at +1-661+-253-3303. To apply online, please click here. To order an offshore company plus account, please click here.

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