As Swiss Bank Accounts Gain Scrutiny, Swiss Gold Vaults On The Rise

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 30, 2016
By Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry) - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Since the treaty with Switzerland that opened up room for banks to disclose the identities of U.S. account holders, more people have been turning to literal giant vaults of gold, which are not subject to the same transparency rules as financial institutions, to stash money, according to Bloomberg. In the first half of this year alone, about $40 billion worth of gold flowed into Switzerland, the largest amount since 2013, which coincidentally was the year the U.S. and Swiss governments agreed to the treaty. The gold is stored in deep bunkers dug into the Swiss Alps, which were originally created for military purposes. Some of the more luxurious ones include facilities to eat and sleep as well, so as to avoid leaving a paper trail from hotels and restaurants. These gold vaults, unlike Swiss bank accounts, are not subject to rules such as mandatory reporting of suspicious activity and are not under the jurisdiction of Swiss financial regulators, and so are becoming popular among people who seek discretion in their financial dealings. This has not escaped the notice of the Swiss government, which Bloomberg said recently issued a report indicating that they could be used by terrorists or money launderers, and suggested that gold be included in cross-border reporting. 

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