Anonymous Banking

Anonymous banking is where the banks of certain countries are used for holding money or assets, based on the voluntary or statutory level of privacy the banks provide.

Anonymous Banking

Anonymous banking is where the banks of certain countries are used for holding money or assets, based on the voluntary or statutory level of privacy the banks provide.

Swiss banks are an example where privacy is statutorily enforced, with Swiss law strictly limiting any information shared with third parties, including tax authorities, foreign governments or even Swiss authorities, except when requested by a Swiss judge. However anonymous banking is not strictly true as a term as all Swiss bank accounts, including numbered bank accounts, are linked to an identified individual under Swiss banking law. This law only permits a bank to share information with others in cases of severe criminal acts or atrocities, such as identifying a terrorist's bank account. Any bank employee violating a client's privacy is punished quite severely by law. Many offshore banks, such as in the Cayman Islands and Panama, also have strict privacy laws.

There are a number of reasons to use anonymous banking:
To hide it from someone such as a wife or other family members.
To hide it from the employer. (Many employers restrict the ability of their staff to trade shares to prevent conflicts of interest).
To store embezzled money.
To launder money.
To prevent confiscation of money, e.g. in the case of potential bankruptcy.
To pay less tax (banking secrecy extends to tax agencies being refused permission to examine accounts).
For any other reason which requires no-one being able to identify the amount of money you have or have earned/acquired.
Privacy from press or publicity. Many newspapers annually publish "rich lists", which are list of the richest people in a country or an area. Many factors including the size of an individual's bank balance can be taken into account in drawing conclusÓons as to the size of his Wealth.
Protection from criminals. In some countries, criminal gangs can access information on bank customers. This might interest criminals, such as kidnappers, extortionists, or identity thieves.
Protection from spongers. This might include charities, venture capitalists seeking seed money, family members, beggars, or investment salesmen.
Simply for privacy. The possession of liquid Wealth attracts many types of people who believe that should have a share of that Wealth. but can also include honest people who have a particular financial need and see someone with Wealth as a target. Being visibly wealthy also attracts publicity, which is not always welcome.

Advances in financial cryptography (e.g. public-key cryptography) make it possible to use anonymous electronic money and anonymous digital bearer certificates to achieve financial privacy and anonymous internet banking.

Anonymous banking is sometimes considered one of the main aspects of Private banking.

The USA Patriot Act has created many new rules for U.S. Banks in an attempt to defeat Anonymous banks. A list of such banks or shell banks are given to the U.S. banks who are not allowed to wire money to them. All new customers to a US bank must now be asked if they are a U.S. citizen, and if not, if they are a foreign political figure or related to one in any way. They must also give their occupation and state if they expect foreign money to be wired to them. The main goal is not as much to combat terrorism as to stop corrupt foreign politicians from being able to successfully drain their countries' treasuries.

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