Cash Payments

Situation: Your off-shore bank has closed your account refusing cash payments.

Swiss banks are pushing clients with suspected non-declared funds to close the bank account – refusing cash payments

Many international clients of our law firm having bank accounts in Switzerland since decades are questioning the behavior of some Swiss banks refusing to make a cash payout. Some Swiss off-shore banking institution has paid out small money for out-of-pocket expenses. Some other banks refused to make a cash payout referring to anti-money laundering legislation. The clients are confronting us with questions:

The clients are confronting us with questions:

  1. Is such a refusal from the Swiss bank compliant to Swiss law?
  2. Why should cash payments of legally earned funds stored in the same bank since decades not be compliant to anti-money laundering rules?

Some clients are now considering filing a case claiming immediate cash payout. But how are the changes to win a trial before court?

The Federal Act on Currency and Payment Instruments (CPIA) of 22 December 1999 (status at 1 January 2007, in German: Bundesgesetz über die Währung und die Zahlungsmittel) clearly states that a Swiss bank has to effect a cash payout if the request for payment in cash is demanded in the official currency – in Swiss Francs. If a client writes a registered letter asking immediate payment in Swiss Francs within 5 days at the latest, we are convinced that such a claim against the bank of the client will be successful under the condition that the payment in cash is asked in Swiss Francs.

The Swiss bank refusal to make a pay-out in cash cannot be justified with strict anti-money laundering legislation. The real motivation behind is different and consists in the fact that the banks are at a possible risk of being accused of assisting a client in tax evasion. The Swiss bank wants to avoid to be subsequently accused of conspiracy to have perpetuated the illegal status of his client. However, the even more disturbing fact is that the client is criminalized by the Swiss Bank just for being domiciled abroad and considering taking cash from his bank account.

Additionally, if an external asset manager is asking for a cash pay-out on behalf of his client, the banks are demanding the asset manager to calm the client and to convince him to stop asking cash pay-out. Otherwise, the bank is threatening to suspend the business relationship with the external asset manager.

Our law firm has an extended experience in handling such cases. We will analyze each single case in order to find out the most appropriate solution for each single client. Each case is different and therefore, we will offer tailor-made solutions based on our experience and extensive network. We will find the right solution for you even in such tricky situations as previously described above.

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