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What countries still have relatively good banking privacy?

cionide

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Dec 19, 2023
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I have a legal situation in which there is a very small, fraction of a percent chance that I may be held liable for a rather large sum. The whole premise of the situation is absolutely absurd, but it would be prudent to secure my assets as best as possible if the costs to do so wouldn't be super high. This is not a matter where a government would come after me (maybe eventually a court appointed collector but they have no jurisdiction outside of the country), and isn't tax related - it's a civil matter. Thus, I am looking to move mid 6 figures out of my country, ideally outside of the EU itself.

Is there any countries, even within the EU, that have relatively strong banking privacy, and at the same time one could consider a safe place to keep money at a reputable bank? I understand that even Switzerland etc may have to cooperate with tax cases and so forth, but i'm looking for jurisdictions that at least won't serve me up on up on a silver platter to anyone who asks. Are there for instance Swiss banks that will open an account for an EU national in a non-neighboring country? Is Austrian banking secrecy still a thing? Lichtenstein? Andorra? Cyprus? Where do people move money to in such situations nowadays?
 
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This is why you should never argue with your ex-wife, OP. :D
I know what I wrote just SCREAMS ex-wife but it's actually something different.

It's an option I considered, and while I hold some crypto I don't know how safe I would feel putting that many eggs in that basket. Hardware wallet can always be seized in a search if it's just laying in your desk or in your safe, and If i'm gonna bury something like a pendrive in my yard I may as well be burying gold instead as that won't have the counterparty risk of something like USDT turning out to be a scam, or not being able to convert to fiat when I need to, or having problems moving it to a bank account when this all blows over...

What i'm after here is more... a country that doesn't just blindly comply with bank account searches, and will tell a foreign non-tax entity to f**k right off instead of presenting everything on a silver platter.
 
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There is no bank that has any privacy any longer. If someone say so he live in 80s
In 2024 what you can do is:
1) move to a jurisdiction that is not part of CRS/FATCA
Or/and
2) use a structure that is not reportable under CRS/FATCA
Or/and
3) move to a country where tax authorities dont automatically get access to your personal and business bank account information
 
There is no bank that has any privacy any longer. If someone say so he live in 80s
I of course know that there is no banking secrecy anymore, but in a hypothetical case where you wanted to hide assets - for instance - from an ex-wife and her lawyers as was mentioned earlier in this thread - i'm sure there are still some places that are better then others.
 
I of course know that there is no banking secrecy anymore, but in a hypothetical case where you wanted to hide assets - for instance - from an ex-wife and her lawyers as was mentioned earlier in this thread - i'm sure there are still some places that are better then others.
It's not only about banking. One thing you can do is use entities that do not have owners, including:
1) non-profit entities
2) foundations
3) co-operatives

You might be able to retain control over these entities and the assets even if you personally go bankrupt. Since the entities do not have ownership, they can not also be seized from you (provided certain conditions are met).

That being said, you might be exposed to the risk that transfers can be reversed or voided by courts if they are deemed fraudulent (to ensure that creditors have access to the debtor's assets for repayment).
Sometimes, using an intermediary vehicle can be useful to mitigate this risk.
For example, you transfer assets to entity A, which transfers assets to entity B. After that, Entity A is immediately liquidated/sold.
Assuming all this takes place cross-border, it makes it difficult for anyone to go after the assets.
 
It's not only about banking. One thing you can do is use entities that do not have owners, including:
1) non-profit entities
2) foundations
3) co-operatives

You might be able to retain control over these entities and the assets even if you personally go bankrupt. Since the entities do not have ownership, they can not also be seized from you (provided certain conditions are met).

That being said, you might be exposed to the risk that transfers can be reversed or voided by courts if they are deemed fraudulent (to ensure that creditors have access to the debtor's assets for repayment).
Sometimes, using an intermediary vehicle can be useful to mitigate this risk.
For example, you transfer assets to entity A, which transfers assets to entity B. After that, Entity A is immediately liquidated/sold.
Assuming all this takes place cross-border, it makes it difficult for anyone to go after the assets.
That is very good information, thank you. I know that in this case complete protection probably isn't 100% possible so really all that one can do is make it as difficult and costly as possible to go after assets.
 
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In addition to this
In 2024 what you can do is:
1) move to a jurisdiction that is not part of CRS/FATCA
Or/and
2) use a structure that is not reportable under CRS/FATCA
Or/and
3) move to a country where tax authorities dont automatically get access to your personal and business bank account information
this
have doing crypto and physical gold for years. I know the mighty gurus around here sewar it is so wrong to do. So far I only win the last 5 years. I consider to be old with my crypto and gold holdings.
and this
It's not only about banking. One thing you can do is use entities that do not have owners, including:
1) non-profit entities
2) foundations
3) co-operatives

You might be able to retain control over these entities and the assets even if you personally go bankrupt. Since the entities do not have ownership, they can not also be seized from you (provided certain conditions are met).

That being said, you might be exposed to the risk that transfers can be reversed or voided by courts if they are deemed fraudulent (to ensure that creditors have access to the debtor's assets for repayment).
Sometimes, using an intermediary vehicle can be useful to mitigate this risk.
For example, you transfer assets to entity A, which transfers assets to entity B. After that, Entity A is immediately liquidated/sold.
Assuming all this takes place cross-border, it makes it difficult for anyone to go after the assets.

what I consider appropriate, I must say that when I read just these sentences

This is not a matter where a government would come after me (maybe eventually a court appointed collector but they have no jurisdiction outside of the country), and isn't tax related - it's a civil matter.

but i'm looking for jurisdictions that at least won't serve me up on up on a silver platter to anyone who asks.
one answer comes to my mind automatically: Liechtenstein. As LI is not a participant of the Lugano convention, any EU court judgement means nothing there; and if it is a civil case where just someone is interested in your money (not a criminal case like drug trafficking, trade with people etc., where LI authorities will co-operate eagerly), this person must sue you in Liechtenstein, which is not an easy (and cheap) task, definitely not. And LI banks are solid.
 
one answer comes to my mind automatically: Liechtenstein. As LI is not a participant of Lugano convention, any EU court judgement means nothing there; and if it is a civil case where just someone is interested in your money
this person must sue you in Liechtenstein, which is not an easy (and cheap) task, definitely not. And LI banks are solid.
Thank you, @Forester
This was information I did NOT know, but it was extremely useful! :cool:

Any LI banks you would recommend?

I'm planning a trip to LI now, but with this new objective in mind: Are there any hotels that are "interesting" and may be purveyors of banking favors? :rolleyes: ;)
 
one answer comes to my mind automatically: Liechtenstein. As LI is not a participant of Lugano convention, any EU court judgement means nothing there; and if it is a civil case where just someone is interested in your money (not a criminal case like drug trafficking, trade with people etc., where LI authorities will co-operate eagerly), this person must sue you in Liechtenstein, which is not an easy (and cheap) task, definitely not. And LI banks are solid.
Is there any particular bank you would recommend? It seems Bank Frick opens accounts for EU residents - are there any others?
 
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Thank you, @Forester

This was information I did NOT know, but it was extremely useful! :cool:
You are welcome! (You especially :) )
Any LI banks you would recommend?
My first bet would be LLB, the second one VP Bank. Just my personal preference.
I'm planning a trip to LI now, but with this new objective in mind: Are there any hotels that are "interesting" and may be purveyors of banking favors? :rolleyes: ;)
Well... I am not sure whether I understand well ;)
If you talk about accomodation: Honestly, I've never been in Vaduz overnight. But one friend of mine discovered there certain nice place that he praise a lot. I'll ask him and PM you, if you like.
If you talk about some reliable introducer: I can PM you, too ;)
Is there any particular bank you would recommend?
See above – my first bet would be LLB, the second one VP Bank.
It seems Bank Frick opens accounts for EU residents - are there any others?
Actually, in my opinion, any LI bank onboards EU nationals on condition that they put enough money on the table. (For just EU residents it can depend on their passport a little – but in your opening post you have talked about EU nationals/citizens.) It is true that e.g. LLB is, recently, a little bit reluctant to East European citizens (I mean the former Soviet block); but I guess gold solves all (on condition that your profile is non-toxic overall).
 
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I contacted Bank Frick, LLB and VP. So far only Frick responded - they want 500k CHF initial deposit but lower is acceptable if you plan to invest longterm, however their service is a bit unclear because they write about investing but at the same time their websites says they do not offer portfolio management or sell financial products so i'm not entirely sure what I would be investing in per-say. No response from LLB or VP yet, but I suppose when you factor in that you couldn't fill half of a proper football stadium with the entire population of LI and the fact that it's rather difficult to immigrate there, then the banks there *must* have an appetite for foreign customers.

Does anyone know if Isle of Man is a signatory of Lugano? I know Jersey and Guernsey is not and I know Jersey is open to foreigners with 50-100k eur minimums - I would imagine Isle of Man is similar but am having problems finding info on this whereas info on the channel islands is readily available.
 
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I contacted Bank Frick, LLB and VP. So far only Frick responded - they want 500k CHF initial deposit but lower is acceptable if you plan to invest longterm, however their service is a bit unclear because they write about investing but at the same time their websites says they do not offer portfolio management or sell financial products so i'm not entirely sure what I would be investing in per-say. No response from LLB or VP yet,
It's unclear to me when you contacted them; anyway, do not expect a reply from a LI bank for a non-customer question neither in minutes nor in hours.
Similarly as in CH, it is probably better to approach any LI bank via some introducer or wealth manager than directly, especially if you are not accustomed to / familiar with the environment there. (But you can be successfull directly, of course.)
but I suppose when you factor in that you couldn't fill half of a proper football stadium with the entire population of LI and the fact that it's rather difficult to immigrate there, then the banks there *must* have an appetite for foreign customers.
A good point. Nevertheless, do not overlook that there is *many* people at the world who want to park their assets in a safe jursidiction. So you are in a quite competitive environment ;)

Does anyone know if Isle of Man is a signatory of Lugano? I know Jersey and Guernsey is not and I know Jersey is open to foreigners with 50-100k eur minimums - I would imagine Isle of Man is similar but am having problems finding info on this whereas info on the channel islands is readily available.
Well.

1) The Lugano Convention was in force for the UK while UK being an EU member and it ceased to be enforced with the end of the transition period after Brexit.
2) The UK applied to (re-)join the Lugano Convention in April 2020. Nevertheless, the European Commission announced in a Communication to the European Parliament and Council in May 2021 that it was opposed to the UK's accession, so subsequently formally blocking (June 2021) the UK's accession. AFAIK, the status quo has not changed since then.
3) Nevertheless, as there is some demand in the UK for a reciprocal enforcement of judgments, the Hague Choice of Court Convention (2005) should be of concern. A nice reading on this can be found e.g. here Enforcement in the EU: UK blocked from Lugano, what now?
4) In addition to all of the above, the legal framework at all the British Crown Dependencies is quite specific, they have their own common law.

Hence, it is IMO really recommendable to consult a lawyer / consulting firm who has certain specific knowledge...
 
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It's unclear to me when did you contacted them; anyway, do not expect a reply from a LI bank for a non-customer question neither in minutes nor in hours.
Similarly as in CH, it is probably better to approach any LI bank via some introducer / wealth manager than directly, especially if you are not accustomed to the environment there. (But you can be successfull directly, of course.)
Thanks for the info. In regards to when I contacted them - this morning. Frick wrote back almost immediately, VP after a few hours, and LLB nothing yet. VP requires at least 1mil CHF deposit. We'll see what LLB have to say. You'd really think that even 300-500k eur is a big enough dick to swing for banking in places like this but it seems not.
 
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Thanks for the info.
You are welcome.
In regards to when I contacted them - this morning. Frick wrote back almost immediately,
Pretty quick; but it perhaps corresponds to their culture – they present themselves as a modern, dynamic subject...
VP after a few hours,
Also very good.
and LLB nothing yet.
No surprise for me, see above.
VP requires at least 1mil CHF deposit.
It corresponds to my experience. Generally, from what I recall, Bank Frick has the lowest requirements, VP moderate.
We'll see what LLB have to say.
I'd expect something like 1-2M; if you have a PL passport (judging just by your profile), probably 2M or more.
You'd really think that even 300-500k eur is a big enough dick to swing for banking in places like this but it seems not.
Regrettably, definitely not. With 500k you can be succesful somewhere/sometimes but it's rather exceptional. Your chances are better with some wealth manager / good introducer who brings quite a good business to the bank in general, so they are more open.
 
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