Facts about Swiss Bank Accounts : Can a Common Man Afford ?

swissaccounts.jpgDoes this sound like a James Bond movie, ” I have instructed my assistant to be paid into your Swiss bank account the sum of ten million dollars each. And that, I think, concludes our business” or James Bond enters a Swiss bank in Spain and is frisked before he can meet with the banker, a triangular-shaped key activates a robotic arm that pulls a safety deposit box from the wall in a Swiss bank in Paris to ultimately reveal the secret to Christianity.

The funny thing is neither of these scenes would actually happen in a real Swiss bank. To most people, having a Swiss Bank Account is something for the super rich, or a good way of “hiding away one’s ill-gotten wealth.”It is common misconception used over and over again in a lot of 007 movies and Hollywood movies.

A common man can have Swiss Bank account:

Swiss bank accounts aren’t just for millionaires, criminals or government officials trying to hide ill-gotten wealth, or celebrities protecting their assets from former spouses. They’re available to anyone and lots of average people have Swiss bank accounts. People who live in countries with unstable governments and banks in particular often turn to Swiss banks because of their security and privacy.

Swiss Bank and it’s privacy:

Swiss law forbids bankers to disclose the existence of your account or any other information about it without your consent. Where the similarity ends is when that privacy is violated. In Switzerland, if a banker divulges information about a bank account without permission, immediate prosecution is begun by the Swiss public attorney. Bankers face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to 50,000 Swiss francs. Needless to say, Swiss banks are very careful about protecting your privacy.

The only exceptions to the Swiss banking privacy rule are criminal activities such as drug trafficking, insider trading or organized crime.

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Credit Suisse bank in Zurich

Advantages of Swiss Bank Accounts – Tax, Stable Currency:

Really, anyone can have assets that they want to protect from any legal lawsuit in Swiss Bank and Tax advantage for non- residents. For nonresidents of Switzerland there are no taxes levied on interest earnings.

Second great reason to have a Swiss bank account; The Swiss franc is one of the most stable currencies in the world (and unique among major currencies in that it is still backed by gold), so the risk of holding the currency is lower than in many other instances. Switzerland has had an extremely stable economy and infrastructure for many years and hasn’t been at war with another country since 1505. Switzerland has the world’s largest gross domestic product (GDP). Swiss bankers are also highly trained in investing and know how to grow your money.

Tax for interest or dividends:

Swiss residents pay 35 percent tax on the interest or dividends their Swiss bank accounts and investments earn. This money is namelessly turned in to the Swiss tax authorities.

For nonresidents of Switzerland there are no taxes levied on those earnings, unless

– You invest in Swiss companies

– You’re a U.S. citizen and invest in U.S. securities from your Swiss bank account (if you do, you need to report it to the IRS).

– You’re a resident of a country that’s part of the European Union

“Big 2” Swiss Banks:

The two largest are Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS AG) and the Credit Suisse Group.

The “big five” Swiss banks are listed below. All are familiar with foreign accounts.

* – The Credit Suisse Bank in Zurich

* – The Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS AG)

* – The Bank Leu (AG) in Zurich

* – The Swiss Bank Corporation in Basel

* – The Swiss Volksbank in Berne

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Union Bank of Switzerland

Numbered accounts or pseudonym accounts:

Numbered accounts (or pseudonym accounts) are not very different from normal bank accounts. The usual account records omit reference to the customer’s name or other identifying information, replacing it with a code number or the pseudonym. The relationship between the code number or pseudonym and the actual customer is known only to a few senior managers and their secretaries within the bank. Even though Swiss bankers must maintain silence regarding their clients and client accounts, there are always records of ownership.

Dormant accounts:

As with anything that’s “secret,” you have to deal with what happens when one of the few people who know about it die. Accounts whose owners die without having passed on information to others concerning the existence of the account become dormant after a period of time. After 10 years of no contact, however, the bank has a legal obligation to search for you. If they can’t find you, or if they learn you have died, they will search for your heirs. If they can’t find any heirs, they will report the account to the Swiss banking ombudsman, an official who represents the public by investigating complaints made by individual citizens.

Therefore, it’s important to take some measures to make sure your money goes to people you want it to. For example, give the banker another contact person that he can contact if he doesn’t hear from you for a specific period of time

Switzerland is not part of European Union:

Switzerland is NOT a part of European Union, and Swiss people never wanted to join European Union and let their currency sink.

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Switzerland

Money laundering:

Swiss banks had adopted the very strict measures to combat, money laundering, drug smuggling and other illegal activities. Definitely, Swiss banks will ask you proof for economic origin of funds if you deposit a huge amount of money (say $1 million) and that too if from questionable resources.

Closing Accounts:

There are no restrictions when it comes to closing an account in Switzerland. You are free to close your account if you wish.

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