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Numbered Bank Accounts

And Private Banking Options in Today's World


Everyone who's ever watched a spy movie knows about swiss private bank accounts and numbered bank accounts. What could be more intriguing than Matt Damon writing a number on the piece of paper, handing it to a Swiss banker, and being given a bag full of cash?


Can You Open a Numbered Bank Account?


Once upon a time, it could work that way. Undoubtedly there still are some numbered bank accounts, probably some that have been in existence since the 19th century. But, by and large, numbered accounts are no longer available to 99% of the people who would like to have them.


Thirty years ago the world is very different. Swiss banks offered bank secrecy, numbered bank accounts, anonymous bank accounts, and, even the famous bearer passbook savings account known as the Sparbuch. Every private jurisdiction offered private banking services with real bank secrecy. Company formation agents could sign you up for an private bank account at the same time they sold you an private company or private trust. Asset protection specialists could set up simple private asset protection structures with bearer shares, nominee directors, and private bank accounts in various private jurisdictions.


But in those days governments were smaller and certainly less aggressive in collecting taxes. Today, every government in the world is hungry for more and more taxes. In the United States you could spend more time in prison for tax evasion then you could for murder.


Private Financial Centres


The problem for the high tax countries was that the private centres wanted income too, and they made their money by selling private companies, private trusts, opening an private bank account, and all the other elements of various successful asset protection strategies. It was better for a tiny private centre to get a flat annual private corporation tax of $200 than get no money at all. Because of that imperative, private centres refused to recognize tax offences in other countries as crimes. In fact, most of the less developed countries in the world did not rate tax offences as criminal, but rather as civil matters.


This private strategy was tremendously successful. Several of these private centres have grown to be major private financial centres today, such as Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Isle of Man; to name just a few. Everyone of them was built on some combination of private banking, bank secrecy, private asset protection, nominee directors, bearer shares, and private banking.


Because of this, today the private industry is valued at more than $14 trillion.


In light of this, high tax countries have had to find a way to fight back. One of their strategies has been to make tax evasion criminal by associating tax evasion with offences the world recognizes as criminal.


Money Laundering


They began with narcotics: private centres were attacked as havens for narco cash. From this sprang the very new concept of money laundering. Money laundering encompasses the idea that "somehow" anytime funds are used for anything illegal, they remain illegal. And, in fact, so does every other bit of money it "co-mingles" with. Conveniently, for the tax collectors, the money stays unclean until it is "cleansed" by passing into the possession of the government.


The attacks on the World Trade Centers helped validate the concept of "money laundering".


Of course, money-laundering legislation in the United States and Western Europe represents the epitome a legal hypocrisy. More illegal money is laundered in New York, Miami, London, Frankfurt, and Milan, than in the rest of the world. At one anti-money laundering seminar on the island of Grenada, a US official was forced to admit that the Caribbean basin only accounted for 1.67% of the money laundering in the world, and yet the United States makes the Caribbean a primary target.


The truth, of course, is that it is illegal to send funds of criminal origin by wire transfer. The bank sending said funds is committing a crime -- not the bank receiving the funds. However, because the US and EU don't want to punish their banks, they criminalize the receiving banks in foreign countries and seize or freeze their correspondent accounts.


The Numbered Bank Account is Endangered or Extinct


For all these reasons, the numbered bank account is a financial dinosaur. And, similar to dinosaurs only "lives" in books and movies. Intelligent people are finding other more sophisticated ways to have secret banking and private accounts, without dealing with private banks and without dealing in private financial centres. Capital Conservator is at the forefront of developing alternative financial accounts which provide the highest degree of privacy and safety in today's world.

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