There used to be Swiss bank secrecy. Anyway, Americans thought so. It was always something of myth. I reprted on this in 1976, when I worked for Ron Paul. The IRS was getting through the barriers.
Now, it’s over. The U.S. has just bankrupted a Swiss bank that had no agents inside the USA, no branches, and violated no Swiss laws. The bank has been threatened with penalties.
The bank is Wegelin & Co. Before it shut down, it was Switzerland’s oldest private bank: 1741.
The IRS threatened the bank with penalties. They directors were threatened with criminal charges. This scared them into selling the bank.
The U.S. government proved itself to be in charge.
Then there is the FACA law: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. It forces bankers around the world to choose.
1) Accept Americans as customers, but agree to share information with the US government;
2) Close the door to all US citizens and residents forever; or
3) Thumb your nose at the law, but risk becoming the next Wegelin & Co.
Needless to say, most banks are opting for #1 in order to avoid unnecessary scrutiny and disclosures.
This is closing off foreign banks to U.S. residents.
The noose is tightening.
It is not easy to open a foreign banks account with banks that are not doing business in the U.S. It is getting harder to buy stocks.Americans must go to the expense of setting up trusts off shore.
There are a few banks that will take your money. But then the question arises: Will they keep your money?