Swiss banking secrecy
Banking secrecy in Switzerland has traditionally been very strict and was considered one of the strongest in the world. It allowed Swiss banks to protect their customers’ financial information, including their identities, from disclosure to third parties, including foreign tax authorities.
However, in 2014, Switzerland introduced new legislation on automatic exchange of information (AEI), in line with international standards of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This legislation requires Swiss banks to automatically exchange tax information with foreign tax authorities.
In addition, Switzerland has signed information exchange agreements with many countries, including the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the European Union. These agreements allow foreign tax authorities to access the financial information of citizens and foreign residents held by Swiss banks.
As a result, Swiss banking secrecy has been significantly weakened in recent years. However, Swiss banks remain known for their discretion and respect for privacy, even though they are now required to comply with international tax transparency standards.