Within the framework of the agreement on automatic exchange of information by the bank on deposits with tax authorities signed by 50 countries, traditional European banking secrecy and confidentiality of deposits in fact ceased to exist.
Subject to such signed agreement - complete and automatic exchange of information between the signatories of the agreement - will be exercised. See the list of countries that signed the agreement on automatic exchange of information.
Governments of the European countries, when signing the agreement, announced that bank secrecy in the form it existed in Europe for centuries, ceased to exist. These changes affect all countries of Europe, including those countries which have long been regarded as the most reliable for bank accounts - Austria and Switzerland.
Within the scope of the policy on prevention of tax evasion in the European Union, a step towards full transparency becomes an important factor for the EU. The law will come into force in most countries in 2017. In some countries it will come into force in 2018.
The Commission, which controls implementation of this law, requires the banks of the countries that signed the agreement to prepare relevant technical facilities for effective exchange of information in 2016. Information, exchanged by the countries, will include all details on payments, dividends, interest and any other types of income.
By signing this agreement, in fact, the European Union finally says goodbye to banking secrecy that has existed for long time and which was earlier traditional for Europe. Even such countries like Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg, which did their utmost to keep their traditions of banking secrecy, regulated on the level of coutry legislation, finally gave up under massive pressure from Brussels.
Bank secrecy in Europe, which had been traditional for many centuries and had been maintained during wars and crisis, ceases its existence. European bankers have known for hundreds of years that money enjoys silence, privacy, reliability.
However, this tradition comes to an end. First, there were various laws toughening rules that banks had to comply with. Subsequently, laws have been enacted that allowed to preserve bank secrecy in exchange for payment of taxes owed to countries with regards of interest and dividends. Now such traditions are wound up and security of deposits and possibility of capital protection in such countries will disappear as well.