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Old 13.10.2011, 18:03
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British tax authorities are targeting some 6,000 British-based holders of HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland in a clampdown on customers who may have failed to report all their income and gains.

Read the full article: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland
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Old 14.10.2011, 12:05
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

good to see action being taken here. the names of all tax cheats should be made public and HSBC should face tough sanctions if they have helped people evade taxes
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Old 14.10.2011, 14:41
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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good to see action being taken here. the names of all tax cheats should be made public and HSBC should face tough sanctions if they have helped people evade taxes
UK tax is self assesment, it's upto individules to be honest. HSBC have not 'helped' anyone.

There is a very good chance that people living & working here may be affected as the Revenue will say they never 'left' the UK, they are just working abroad for a couple of years.
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Old 14.10.2011, 14:58
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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good to see action being taken here. the names of all tax cheats should be made public and HSBC should face tough sanctions if they have helped people evade taxes
Jesus... offshore banks helping people evade taxes... what is this world coming to? Seriously ....
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Old 14.10.2011, 15:05
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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Jesus... offshore banks helping people evade taxes... what is this world coming to? Seriously ....
If you were wealthy & wanted to evade tax you would have a numbered account. No details of the account holder are stored on a computer, the file is kept in a safe with very limited acess. The bank would not know the account belonged to an English person so this would not get reported.

It's just the tight skinflints who want to save money will get caught
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Old 14.10.2011, 15:38
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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No details of the account holder are stored on a computer,
not the case at HSBC
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Old 14.10.2011, 15:46
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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UK tax is self assesment, it's upto individules to be honest. HSBC have not 'helped' anyone.

There is a very good chance that people living & working here may be affected as the Revenue will say they never 'left' the UK, they are just working abroad for a couple of years.
which is fair enough if they plan on returning to the UK
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Old 14.10.2011, 16:16
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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If you were wealthy & wanted to evade tax you would have a numbered account. No details of the account holder are stored on a computer, the file is kept in a safe with very limited acess. The bank would not know the account belonged to an English person so this would not get reported.
It's only like that in the comics.
In the real world, all accounts at all banks are listed on their IT systems, and several ppl have access to that information.

Most of who can figure out how to copy that data on to a CD ROM.
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Old 14.10.2011, 16:39
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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not the case at HSBC
For numbered accounts that is indeed the case, the account holder is just a number.........

Everyday customers have a name to their accounts, if privacy is the aim you do not want your name & address printed on statements or letters. Letters will be sent in plain hand written envelopes, with a stamp from a little post office.
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Old 14.10.2011, 16:43
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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It's only like that in the comics.
In the real world, all accounts at all banks are listed on their IT systems, and several ppl have access to that information.

Most of who can figure out how to copy that data on to a CD ROM.
Numbered accounts are listed in the computer , however the owner is a number not a name. It's a bank within a bank, if you turn up with your account no at the holding branch you will even be turned away as it does not mean anything to the clerk on the desk. You will usually have to go upstairs & behind closed doors for assistance.
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Old 14.10.2011, 18:36
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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For numbered accounts that is indeed the case, the account holder is just a number.........
Only in day-to-day business. Holders of numbered accounts are not anonymous to the bank, though they are anonymous to most of the bank's employees.

http://www.google.ch/url?sa=t&source...kxw8PXvFLfvwTQ

Page 55
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Old 14.10.2011, 19:06
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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Only in day-to-day business. Holders of numbered accounts are not anonymous to the bank, though they are anonymous to most of the bank's employees.

http://www.google.ch/url?sa=t&source...kxw8PXvFLfvwTQ

Page 55
That is correct, you will find charges quite high as transfers in & out would be CASH transactions & not transfers so there is not a paper trail. The statements would be written to customer CO.67823.AK c/o Post Box which is the bank.
Usually used to prevent family members knowing how rich 'daddy' is, especially if he does not want his wealth distributed as required by law, in countries such as CH & FR you don't decide how most of your estate is disbursed. Obviously such accounts are not listed on tax returns!

Austria actually had some Secret bearer passbook accounts-
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Old 14.10.2011, 19:13
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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That is correct, you will find charges quite high as transfers in & out would be CASH transactions & not transfers so there is not a paper trail. The statements would be written to customer CO.67823.AK c/o Post Box which is the bank.
Usually used to prevent family members knowing how rich 'daddy' is, especially if he does not want his wealth distributed as required by law, in countries such as CH & FR you don't decide how most of your estate is disbursed. Obviously such accounts are not listed on tax returns!

Austria actually had some Secret bearer passbook accounts-
Right. But none of that actually prevents the UK government from tracking down tax cheats using numbered accounts, as the forensics trail is still there. It makes the information harder to obtain for people that want to sell CDs to foreign governments, but it's just as easy to obtain with a court order saying "give us all documents pertaining to so and so."
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Old 14.10.2011, 19:18
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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Right. But none of that actually prevents the UK government from tracking down tax cheats using numbered accounts, as the forensics trail is still there. It makes the information harder to obtain for people that want to sell CDs to foreign governments, but it's just as easy to obtain with a court order saying "give us all documents pertaining to so and so."
The bank won't be able to identify the bank account to a name they ask.

The code names are not linked to names other than in the paper files.

It's also possible that the registered owner died a long time ago, the power of attorneys on these accounts don't stop at death, so account owner & beneficial owner may be different.
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Old 14.10.2011, 19:48
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. I don't know where you get your knowledge, whether you've worked in a bank or such, but I have first-hand knowledge that the account holders are identifiable. Read the link above, or do some of your own googling; account holders can be identified if necessary. The difference is really just the number of people who can do the identification.

Oh, and regarding the paper-only thing.... Even if there are some banks that don't digitize information, you do realize that forensics were done prior to computerized systems, right? It's harder work, perhaps, but quite possible.
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Old 14.10.2011, 19:53
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. I don't know where you get your knowledge, whether you've worked in a bank or such, but I have first-hand knowledge that the account holders are identifiable. Read the link above, or do some of your own googling; account holders can be identified if necessary. The difference is really just the number of people who can do the identification.

Oh, and regarding the paper-only thing.... Even if there are some banks that don't digitize information, you do realize that forensics were done prior to computerized systems, right? It's harder work, perhaps, but quite possible.
I have worked on several numbered accounts systems. Including security , design and implementation. I doubt very much that any numbers identify individuals. The correlation and resolving systems are simply too secure. It's the bread and butter reputation of the bank at stake.
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Old 14.10.2011, 20:03
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. I don't know where you get your knowledge, whether you've worked in a bank or such, but I have first-hand knowledge that the account holders are identifiable. Read the link above, or do some of your own googling; account holders can be identified if necessary. The difference is really just the number of people who can do the identification.

Oh, and regarding the paper-only thing.... Even if there are some banks that don't digitize information, you do realize that forensics were done prior to computerized systems, right? It's harder work, perhaps, but quite possible.
The account holder CAN be identified however his NAME will not connect to the account with a reverse look up. These are 2 very different things.

I do know a case where a bank gave money out of the wrong account, the cashier did not understand the account no & asked for a passport. Reverse name look up gave her somebody in Paris. She gave out 10K, the guy noticed the error & returned, the cashier said this is not possible,, several phone calls later matter resolved!
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Old 14.10.2011, 20:03
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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I have worked on several numbered accounts systems. Including security , design and implementation. I doubt very much that any numbers identify individuals. The correlation and resolving systems are simply too secure. It's the bread and butter reputation of the bank at stake.
/sigh

Of course the numbers identify the individual. It's in the freakin' Code of Obligations. But only a limited subset of people have the mapping, or rather, access to the mapping between name and number.

Most bank systems will not have access to that mapping by design. Clearly, the system that manages the account balance has no need to know who owns the account. But the bank is required to be able to identify all accounts belonging to an individual, and has been since 1934.

Last edited by Corbets; 14.10.2011 at 20:11. Reason: iPhone related silliness
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Old 14.10.2011, 20:13
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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But the bank is required to be able to identify all accounts belonging to an individual, and has been since 1934.
Depending on the Canton, they will even ignore court orders. I suspect they can't identify beneficial owners on a huge no of accounts, they knew the person who opened the account & they know who holds a POA, often a lawyer acting for a client.

Beneficial ownership is something else.

Can you confirm there is no requirement for pre 1934 accounts, that is very interesting to know.
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Old 14.10.2011, 20:13
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Re: Britain targets 6,000 HSBC accounts in Switzerland

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The account holder CAN be identified however his NAME will not connect to the account with a reverse look up. These are 2 very different things.

I do know a case where a bank gave money out of the wrong account, the cashier did not understand the account no & asked for a passport. Reverse name look up gave her somebody in Paris. She gave out 10K, the guy noticed the error & returned, the cashier said this is not possible,, several phone calls later matter resolved!
Ok, I give you that the name will not show a link to the account at an average teller's desk, if that's what you mean. The manager can make the link, but most staff not.
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