Have the banks in Switzerland the right to prevent cash withdrawal from foreign clients with Undeclared Money? The question was raised to the Swiss federal court and has been debated fro several years. Since a few years the banks have encourage their foreign clients to get tax compliant.

Two decisions of the Federal Court published in late November provide a first answer. Two Italian customers of a BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA branch in Lugano who wanted to respectively withdraw EUR 75,494 and 557,715, have been successful in getting the court to say that BNP Paribas had no right to stop them from withdrawing cash. The Federal Court goes further in blaming the bank not to have implemented internal guidelines to justify the non-delivery of cash to a customer, even undeclared.

 

. Their bank, BNP Paribas in this case, had no right to stop them, according to the Federal Supreme Court which, in this way, confirms a judgment by the Court of Lugano in February.
This decision was expected to firm up by many foreign clients in similar situations, particularly in Geneva. But also by their lawyers. In this case, the Federal Court dismissed one by one all the arguments of the bank, explain the experts. He blames mainly the bank not to have implemented internal guidelines to justify the non-delivery of cash to a customer, even undeclared.