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Cooperation With Customers Prohibited


In future, Austrian banks will not be allowed to inform their clients if the authorities instigate proceedings against them.

The OECD has heavily criticised Austrian banking practices. According to the organisation’s directives and guidelines financial service providers, banks, brokers and investment managers are prohibited from informing their clients, if the authorities instigate proceedings against them. A bank or its employees are not authorised to inform their clients, officially or informally, if investigations are carried out.

The Austrians treated the relevant rules in a rather “relaxed” manner, and as a result Austrian practice did not meet the OECD’s requirements. The government has drawn up the appropriate, stricter regulations and these are expected to go before parliament at the end of May for approval. According to the government’s goals, in the event that the Austrian authorities receive a request based on a foreign agreement on judicial assistance, they wish to stop those involved finding out and taking the money out of Austria while the complicated and bureaucratic process takes its course.