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Swiss Banking Secrecy

Banking Secrecy Has Never Been Absolute

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The bankers obligation to maintain banking secrecy has always had to give way to other legal requirements (e.g. in connection with criminal investigations brought under Swiss law, inheritance law or debt collection and bankruptcy proceedings). That being said, legislation, case law and the majority of legal writers have adapted the extent of its application, so that the concept of discretion in the banking field continues to be supported by a large majority of Swiss voters, which in 1985 rejected a socialist initiative which would have limited banking secrecy considerably. Nonetheless, over the last few years, banking secrecy has not remained unaffected by changes in the legal environment or by increasing interdependence among states. In order to combat potential or actual cases of misuse of banking secrecy, adaptations were required.

   
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