THUMBS DOWN: Hold the Swiss

Physician's Money Digest, June30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 12

There was a time when every highroller worthy of the name had asecret Swiss bank account. But stashingaway your retirement nest egg inSwitzerland may not be a good ideaanymore. Presently, super-strict Swisssecrecy laws are running up againstan IRS regulation that requires overseasbanks that do business in theUnited States to divulge the identitiesof their American clients. Rather thanviolate their own laws, which make ita criminal offense to reveal confidentialinformation, Swiss bankers arequietly nudging their American clientsto own up to the IRS abouttheir overseas bank accounts or taketheir cash elsewhere. Having Americanclients is just getting to be toomuch of a hassle, according to Swissbanking officials.