Pros & Cons of a Swiss Bank Account

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It's Relatively Secret

Switzerland has some of the tightest banking secrecy laws in the world. Law prohibits a Swiss banker from revealing information about your account to anyone except if legally ordered to do so. This makes a Swiss bank account an excellent vehicle for shielding assets from prying eyes and civil lawsuits.

It's Not For Everyone

According to the article "Swiss Bank Accounts: Separating Fact From Fiction" from August 20, 2008, on the CNBC website, most Swiss banks are interested in investing the money deposited in their banks, not just providing a small amount of interest to depositors. Depositors, therefore, may be given a minimum amount with which to start an account, a figure often close to $250,000.

Bottom Line

Given the high floor on starting an account and the large amount of paperwork required, Swiss bank accounts only make sense for those with an interest in hiding a large amount of money. However, according to the article "Silence Is Golden," published on September 8, 2002, on the "Time" magazine website, a Swiss bank cannot accept money it believes to have criminal origins.