Banking in Switzerland began in the early 18th century through Switzerland 's merchant trade and has, over the centuries, grown into a complex, regulated, and international industry. Along with the Swiss AlpsSwiss chocolatewatchmaking and mountaineering, banking is seen as emblematic of Switzerland.
Switzerland has a long, kindred history of banking secrecy and client confidentiality reaching back to the early s. Started as a way to protect wealthy European banking interests, Swiss banking secrecy was codified in with the passage of the landmark federal law, the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks.
Controversial protection of foreign accounts and assets during World War II sparked a series of proposed financial regulations seeking to temper bank secrecy to little success.
Switzerland, considered the "grandfather of bank secrecy", has been one of the largest offshore financial centers and tax havens in the world The swiss guard movie 1 mp4 the midth century. Despite an international push to meaningfully roll back banking secrecy laws in the country, Swiss social and political forces have minimized and reverted much of proposed roll backs.
Disclosing client information has been considered a serious social and criminal offence since the early s. Employees working in Switzerland and abroad at Swiss banks "have long adhered to an unwritten code similar to that observed by doctors or priests ".
After insurmountable professional setbacks, all the men were either fired or resigned from their banks, served with federal arrest warrants and fined. It consistently ranks in the top three states on the Financial Secrecy Index and was named first many times, most recently in Banking in Switzerland has historically played, and still continues to play, a dominant role in the Swiss economy and society.
During the 18th century, Swiss mercenaries brought home funds from their contracts that helped Swiss banks begin. Switzerland is a prosperous nation with a per capita gross domestic product higher than that of most Western The swiss guard movie 1 mp4 nations. The value of the Swiss franc CHF has been relatively stable compared with that of other currencies. Switzerland maintained neutrality through both World Warsis not a member of the European Unionand did not join the United Nations until Founded inthe BIS chose to locate in Switzerland because of the country's neutralitywhich was important to the organization founded by countries that had been enemies in World War I.
Banking has played a dominant role in the Swiss economy for two centuries. The ombudsman's services, which are offered free of charge, include mediation and assistance to persons searching for dormant assets. The ombudsman handles about 1, complaints raised against banks yearly.
Bank secrecy in the Swiss region can be traced  to the Great Council of Geneva which outlawed the disclosure of information about the European upper class in This is what the Swiss bourgeoisie are thinking: We will play on the contradictions between the European powers and, protected by the shield of our neutrality, our arm will be industry and finance.
After a small scale civil war in the s between the Swiss cantonsthe Swiss Federation was founded in The swiss guard movie 1 mp4 with protecting German Jewish assets, Swiss banks collaborated with Nazi Germany and their allies by storing The swiss guard movie 1 mp4 gold and cash balances in underground vaults.
In another step toward loosening banking secrecy, Switzerland signed the U. In Marchthe Swiss government entered into bilateral "Rubik Agreements" with GermanyAustriaand the United Kingdom allowing foreign holders of Swiss bank accounts to retain their anonymity in exchange for paying predetermined back taxes. In Decemberthe Swiss parliament launched a standing initiative and expressed an interest in formally embedding banking secrecy within the Swiss Constitution making it a federally-protected constitutional right.
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Secrecy laws have been violated by four people since A handful of larger Swiss banks operate undisclosed or otherwise secretive bank vaultsstorage facilities or underground bunkers for gold barsdiamondsor other valuable physical assets. Many banks in Switzerland offer clients numbered bank accountsaccounts where the identity of the holder is replaced with a multi-digit number known only to the client and select private bankers. Many sovereign states do not legally require private bankers to confirm whether or not a client has or has not paid their taxes, The swiss guard movie 1 mp4 any capacity.
According to the Financial Secrecy IndexSwitzerland's banking secrecy laws have rendered it a premier tax haven since the s. Breaches of banking secrecy laws in Switzerland are automatically processed pursuant to The swiss guard movie 1 mp4 47 of the Banking Law of Internal Revenue Service in According to the Financial Secrecy Index report, Switzerland will exchange information with rich countries if they have to, but will continue to hide the assets of citizens of poorer countries such as Russia and India.
As of [update]there are more than securities dealers and banking institutions in Switzerlandranging from the "Two Big Banks" down to small banks serving the needs of a single community or a few special clients. Credit Suisse Group is the second-largest Swiss bank. Its shares are publicly traded, and are held by the cantonscantonal banks, and individual investors; the federal government does not hold any shares.
Raiffeisen Banks "assumes the role of central bank" in providing treasury services, and is the third largest group consisting of banks inin with 1, branches. Vincenz was chief executive.
The group has 3 million plus clients within Switzerland. The term private bank refers to a bank that offers private banking services and in its legal form is a partnership.
Gallen in the midth century and in Geneva in the late 18th century as partnerships, and some are still in the hands of the original families such as Hottinger and Mirabaud. There are, as of24 cantonal banks ; these banks are state-guaranteed semi-governmental organizations controlled The swiss guard movie 1 mp4 one of Switzerland's 26 cantons that engage in all banking businesses. Banking in Switzerland, in particular Swiss banking secrecy practices, has been detailed in global popular culture to varying degrees of accuracy.
According to official statements from the Swiss National Film Archives, inaccurate or exaggerated portrayals negatively impact Switzerland by reducing bankers to unflattering " caricatures " that are "ever disposed to accept funds from questionable sources". Swiss banking was prominently featured in the following films and television shows:.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Music and performing arts. Flag Coat of arms.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The largest bank in Switzerland: The second largest bank in Switzerland: The battle for the Swiss soul".
Retrieved May 19, Narrative Report on Switzerlandp. Retrieved 22 July Youssef Cassis - Banks and Banking in Switzerland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Sharing Wisdom, Building Values: Archived from the original on May 27, Archived from the original on Archived from the original on 29 May Archived from the original on 14 July Bank of International Settlements.
Archived from the original on 15 June Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. Retrieved May 18, Archived from the original on July 23, From a Legal View". The International and Comparative Law Quarterly. Hitler's secret Swiss bank account".
Declassified intelligence documents at the US National Archives show that one of Hitler's closest confidantes opened the accounts at the Union Bank of Switzerland in Bern after the Fuhrer's book became required reading in German schools. The Fall of UBS: Swiss prosecutors seek widening of secrecy law to A Crack In the Swiss Vault".
The Impact of the U. Retrieved March 18, Retrieved May 20, The American-led attack on the Gnomes of Zurich has produced a backlash: Swiss bankers who spill the beans continue to do so at their peril.
Was It a Crime? The New York Times.
Several hunkered down in Switzerland, which refused to extradite its citizens to the United States for actions that weren't illegal in Switzerland. None had actually gone on trial. If you blow the whistle you are socially and financially dead. Retrieved June 1, Retrieved May 16, The subterranean vaults of Geneva and Zurich have served as sanctuaries for the wealth of dictators and despots, mobsters and arms dealers, corrupt officials and tax cheats of all kinds.