Swiss bank accounts

Saturday, October 4, 2014 - 10:59

On the current subject of "follow the money" as a reminder that anything is possible, one assignment the company was faced with was tracking down Australia’s then possibly number one tax defaulter. The government knew this low life who made his start evicting little old ladies out of pegged rent accommodation had money in Swiss bank accounts but just did not know in which ones. I was asked whether we could find the money. I said we could.

I wrote to all the Swiss banks with a copy of our authority asking for the details of this man’s accounts and what amount was held there in. All bar three banks wrote back that he did not have an account with them. Three banks wrote that they could not supply those details. Not hard to deduce where one had to go to present the demand for the money.

But the Swiss do have a sense of humour. Some little while back one bank sent out a letter to its customers saying that by law they now had to reveal account information to the USA authorities for anyone having US derived income in their accounts. Heady stuff. Except they also wrote, that if you would like to sign this form declaring you do not have US sourced income then we do not have to reveal any details…