Swiss Bank Accounts

Physician's Money Digest, June30 2004, Volume 11, Issue 12

A bank account in Switzerland hasbeen made famous in any number ofcloak-and-dagger novels and movies.Swiss secrecy laws and the anonymity ofSwiss bank accounts, which keep assetssafe from prying eyes, have drawn abroad spectrum of high rollers fromdrug dealers to deposed despots. It's notas easy to open one, though, as thosestorybooks would have you believe. Forone thing, Swiss secrecy rules are in con-flict with US tax laws, which requiretaxpayers to own up to any offshoreaccounts, and some Swiss banks areturning away American investors ratherthan compromise. Besides that, youhave to open your Swiss bank accountpersonally, in Switzerland, and you needreferences. You also have to persuadethe bank that you really need anaccount and come up with at least$25,000 as an initial deposit.