Switzerland Next: Swiss Banks Set To Foward Confidential Bank Client Data To U.S. Officials

Tyler Durden's picture

Complete the following SAT logic question:

  • Cyprus : Russian depositors :: Switzerland : [X]

If you answered X = US depositors (for now... soon many more), you are correct.

It has been no secret that in the aftermath of the crackdown of the Obama administration on Swiss-based "whale" accounts, Swiss banks promptly gave up on the legacy model of bank secrecy which allowed them to fund a massive banking sector that has assets (and therefore liabilities) six times greater than the GDP of Switzerland. That this has led to a literal Swiss fear and loathing of anything American, is no surprise: after all banks have blamed the informal US accords, in which the US DOJ can now expose any and every Swiss bank client for the massive layoffs that have ensued in the past several years, hitting not only megabanks UBS and Credit Suisse, but all the smaller players as well.

Now, in the aftermath of the deposit tax in Cyprus, it appears that "wealth taxation" in Switzerland is about to be taken up a notch.

As the leading Zurich financial media NZZ reported and Reuters summarized, the country has reached a deal in principle with the United States over undeclared funds hidden by wealthy Americans in Swiss offshore bank accounts. Naturally, the state was quick to deny it - after all, the last thing they need is a prompt exodus of all big offshore accounts held locally as fears of a Cyprus "wealth tax" on big accounts spreads.

Alas, this may be precisely what is happening. From Reuters:

The plan outlined by the NZZ am Sonntag would see each Swiss bank with U.S. clients negotiating individual settlements with the United States for its role in hiding untaxed money.


Most of the 13 banks in the crosshairs of U.S. justice officials, which include Credit Suisse and Julius Baer, have said they are already in settlement negotiations.


What is new is that the remainder of Switzerland's more than 300 banks with U.S. clients would have to seek a U.S. settlement individually, according to the NZZ.

This in itself is not news. This next part, however, is:

Those banks would be required to "motivate" remaining U.S. clients to come clean to U.S. tax officials. If they failed to do so, confidential bank data would be forwarded to U.S. officials. The initial shipment of data from those banks would not include client names but, based on the data, U.S. officials would be able to submit a judicial aid requests to get the names of alleged tax evaders, the newspaper said.

So after all US "whale" accounts, aka alleged tax evaders, have their bank data fully exposed to the US government which will operate under the assumption (hardly too incorrect) that all  US accounts in Switzerland have evaded taxes and thus are subject to the US government's just as forcible wealth re-appropriation, how long until all other European nations, most of them just as broke as the US, follow suit?

The question then is: how many of the oligarchs, Russian or otherwise, who avoided a complete wipe out and total capital controls in Cyprus, will wait to find out if the same fate will befall them in Switzerland? Or Luxembourg? Or Lichtenstein? Or Singapore?

Or any other formerly considered "tax-haven" nation?

Finally, is it clear yet to the world's uber-wealthy that the 2013 hunting season is now open, and that they, or rather their deposits, are the prey of every socialist government in the entire world?

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ziggy59's picture

Sheeeit...these currency wars beat DWTS any day..

flacon's picture

Pretty soon people will be buying barbaric relics just to have some privacy and laundering. 

CH1's picture

people will be buying barbaric relics....

Yup! Unexpected consequences are a bitch.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

So the old burying the coffee can in the back yard trick wasn't so bad after all?  I've gotten laughed at a time or two for suggesting to family members to keep some cash at home......I'll get the last laugh some day.  Probably sooner rather than later.

DosZap's picture

So the old burying the coffee can in the back yard trick wasn't so bad after all?  I've gotten laughed at a time or two for suggesting to family members to keep some cash at home......I'll get the last laugh some day.  Probably sooner rather than

Nope worked in the OLD days, do not recommend any cans(Metal Detectors).

WmMcK's picture

PVC for the good stuff.  Cans just for decoys/laughs.

And a safe (full of nickels, of course) to surrender when SHTF.

McMolotov's picture

This insane obsession by governments to know every detail of a person's life is going to backfire badly. They're going to drive entire economies underground if they keep this shit up, and then they'll know even less about how people earn and spend their money.

akak's picture

Not as long as the sheep keeping routinely using credit cards and even giving up on the use of cash altogether, as the vast majority of them appear perfectly happy to do.

akak's picture

On the contrary, it is fucking CREDIT CARDS which routinely hold up transactions and are inconvenient.

TeamDepends's picture

We were being sarcastic.  We long for the old days when people saved up to buy something and having a second mortgage was shameful.

akak's picture

I realized that TD, and no offense to you at all; my answer was more rhetorical in nature.

Ineverslice's picture


capital confiscation...Looking like Swiss Cheese.

Bank Run.

TeamDepends's picture

Well, then let's foreclose on the TBTF's and central banks and confiscate their assets and redistribute them.  This is not communism.  This is justice.

trader1's picture

absolutely.  not having to pay a mortgage would be liberating.  

WmMcK's picture

Some even thought lay-away or financing a car was shameful.

Paying for rent or food with a credit card would have been disgraceful.

11b40's picture

Not just disgraceful, but also dumb.

Son of Loki's picture

Now I understand why the Paki's down the block (the ones who own the convenience store) do 99% of their purchases and sales in cash-o-la only.

I always thought they were smarter then the average Muppet.

Buck Johnson's picture

Thats exactly what is going to happen.  I don't know what they have on Switzerland (probably threatened to keep them out of the swift system) but Switzerland will soon see a run on their banks by the whales who are hiding their money.  All the insolvent countries are going after money outside their countries.  If you haven't figured it out it's real simple.  Eventually people won't trust banks anymore and will hide their money in tangible assets and lie all the time.  Most of europe and the rest of the world have been through not trusting bankers and it seems it will happen again. 

Winston Churchill's picture

Belize will be so grateful.I'm sure their turn will come soon though.

I don't know wha tall you single nationality types are going to do.

I would guess the cost of getting a second or third nationality just doubled.

Kreditanstalt's picture



You don't "save" in bank accounts at all.  The interest earned is now negligible anyway.

Or in managed or self-directed bank-run equity accounts...Bernanke's "Return-free risk".

Obviously, as we are seeing, financial privacy is worth more than any return a bank can offer. 

You rent a safety deposit box somewhere, stuff it full of bullion and wait.

Banksters's picture

The banksters want their cut off politicians endless spending spree.   Every transaction is related to interest and these snakes will get it one way or another.

Urban Redneck's picture

That's exactly what it is about, because they are about as likely to profit (find money over and above costs) as they are to find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow... 

For example, let's take everyone's favorite American oligarch- Warren Buttfuck

(Most Likely) Warren isn't hiding an account at a major Swiss bank registered c/o Warren Buttfuck, Omaha Nebraska SSN 666-66-6666

(More Likely) Orfice of Omaha Peasant Raping Ventures GmbH of which Warren is neither a shareholder, nor an account signer, however, might have an account in Switzerland.

And the firewall between Warren Buttfuck of Omaha, NE and Orfice of Omaha Peasant Raping Ventures GmbH, would include a trust, a company of bearer shears, with some Dutch sandwiches or Double Irishes thrown in for added flavoring and confusion and, of course, tax minimization. The various layers of the firewall are outfitted with different set of lawyers and accountants, speaking different languages and established under different legal jurisdictions.  

So while the IRS may catch some small fish, or some slow lazy big fish, they aren't going to catch any whales that don't want to be caught.   Meanwhile, everyone sacrifices their liberty and privacy to the NWO State in its fictitous pursuit ofa false war.

WmMcK's picture

SSN 666-66-6666

078-05-1120 from 1938 works well, too.

Look it up on DuckDuckGo for more details.

Urban Redneck's picture

Since I live in Switzerland and used to work in banking, there are some legal reasons for not using an actual name or SSN... even in an obviously fictitious example.

Sudden Debt's picture

PM stores keep a record of 10 years.
Visa keeps a record of 12 years.

we're not all off the hook just yet.

toys for tits's picture

I thought that US PM coins were the only records not kept, no?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Am told by good friend in NY that they now keep records of sales in PM stores. No such rules for diamonds in Manhattan's diamond district, which is monopolized by a small group. Total subculture of diamonds and cash: SA, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, NYC.

No laundering or terrorism here. It's all above board and kosher.

nodhannum's picture

Damn, I lost my record of boating accidents.  Do we have to keep them ten years?

akak's picture

It may not all be above board, but I have no doubt that it is all kosher.

Axenolith's picture

None if transaction is less than $10K.  It'll get interesting when and if the price gets up to there or if the government lowers the limit.  They wanted $500 for every transaction a few years back, but there was to much howling.

WillyGroper's picture

I thot sales of less than $600, no records. No?

Winston Churchill's picture

Doubt it.

If it used the web at all its sitting somewhere on a server  forever.

toys for tits's picture

So cash at coin shows, or ordering in a very elderly friend's name?

Winston Churchill's picture


Unless you have foreign bank accounts and can pay in a third country

for delivery here by a subsid, sans paperwork.I believe some people

do exactly that for their purchases.Cough cough.Not me of course.If

I had any PM's they were lost in a tragic gardening accident.

WmMcK's picture

+ FRN's @LCS's.
Elderly or (nearly) dead.
Russian ladies' names work well also for some reason.

Silver Garbage Man's picture

If the Russians Wanted to blow this up they could just drop $30 billion and clean up all the silver.

thisandthat's picture

It's Storage Wars in a whole new level...

Terminus C's picture

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs


Governments are NEEDY, so we'd better be on our best performance.

CH1's picture

Governments are NEEDY, so we'd better be on our best performance.

Go Galt and pull up a chair. The game is starting.

Eireann go Brach's picture

When Obama became president, someone had to tell him Switzerland was not in the Mediterranean!

akak's picture

First they had to tell the Shrub where the Mediterranean was.

GlobalCtzn's picture

They had to tell Shrub WHAT the Mediterranean is. He thought it was a frickin' cocktail.

sun tzu's picture

It was your messiah. Admit it

bania's picture

Do you get to keep your spiderman Swatch?