Perhaps. Or perhaps not.
If you are talking about banks in Switzerland, perhaps it's already the end. However, there are many offshore jurisdictions that are still considered as the go-to place for securing assets off-the-shore.
Let's take St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), for example. The island-country in Caribbean is still considered as one of the best when it comes to privacy laws and favorable banking regulations. Other jurisdictions include Singapore, Samoa, Seychelles and other countries with strong privacy laws.
We can conclude that in some jurisdictions, bank secrecy or privacy is still prevalent.
However, due to the negative reputation due to the popularity among money launderers, criminals and tax evaders, it's easy to conclude that such offshore banks' secrecy is only for wrong-doing.
But it's not. In fact, we can show you that the offshore banks' secrecy is well-sought-after for legitimate reasons.
Bank secrecy for legitimate savers
“If we are doing nothing wrong, why banking secrecy matters to us?” you may ask. The answer is simple: it is our responsibility to manage our own assets that we worked so hard for.
Here are 3 of many scenarios in which bank secrecy is important:
1. Protecting your investing strategies
Suppose you are a successful trader who has developed your own 'secret sauce' in finding great underpriced stocks. You just can't let anybody else to steal your 'sauce'. As your trading activities are not secured, someone creative can steal your strategies.
One of the ways to protect your 'trade secret' is by opening an offshore bank account that offers absolute confidentiality.
2. Protection from prying eyes of fraudsters (typically via identity theft)
Fraudsters are everywhere, and anyone can be a target, even a victim. Identity theft is a major fraud problem is underrated. By opening a private banking account with secrecy feature, which include secure VPN for online transactions, you have taken action to upgrade your account security level.
3. Protection from your jurisdiction's political and economic uncertainty.
It's no secret that asset freezing – even confiscation – happens when political and economical turmoil take place. Take the frozen funds in Crimea, for example – due to political turmoil, savers couldn't withdraw their own money until the dust settles.
It's only logical to move your assets from a less stable jurisdiction to the more stable jurisdiction. Add privacy features to your assets, and you have enhanced your asset protection.
Protecting your own hard-earned assets is your responsibility – and right.
Just like anything else in the world, there are pros and cons that come with freedom and privacy. The Internet, for example, can be utilized for good or bad purposes. Any attempts to regulate it would raise controversies. The same thing happens with offshore, private banking.
We can conclude that bank secrecy is beneficial for both bad guys and good guys. Eventually, it's all coming back to every person's asset protection plan – is he/she going to do it for the right/wrong reasons?
We at ICO Services oppose money laundering an other illegal uses of offshore banking services. If you need an objective opinion on offshore banking, please contact us.