Confidentiality

Obligations

Describe the private banking confidentiality obligations.

Managers and employees of financial institutions operating in Monaco are bound by the rules of professional secrecy. A breach of these rules may be prosecuted under the provisions of article 308 of the Criminal Code.

This commitment is designed to protect clients’ interests and create the confidence required for the banking and financial sector to operate effectively.

In their relationships with depositors and borrowers, banks obtain extensive information on clients’ financial status, business affairs and private lives. All of this information is protected by professional secrecy, as is the very existence of a bank account and all of the transactions made to it, particularly those involving asset management.

Scope

What information and documents are within the scope of confidentiality?

The scope of confidentiality covers all information regarding operations carried out on the accounts, the existence of accounts in the name of a person and the nature of these accounts, and the identity of agents or guarantors, as well as information relating to business secrets or privacy.

Precise and non-public information, collected in the privacy of professional relationships with clients, is covered by professional secrecy.

Expectations and limitations

What are the exceptions and limitations to the duty of confidentiality?

As in all countries with an organised financial system, professional secrecy does not apply to information requested by the financial industry’s supervisory and money laundering authorities, which themselves are bound by secrecy rules, or by local legal authorities involved in a criminal investigation.

Pursuant to the 1963 tax treaty between France and Monaco, the other exception to professional secrecy concerns persons with France as their fiscal domicile.

Breach

What is the liability for breach of confidentiality?

Article 308 of the Criminal Code provides that any person who, by his or her position or profession, is the depositary of the secret entrusted to him or her, and who discloses that secret, other than in cases where the law obliges or permits him or her to do so, shall be punished by six months to one year’s imprisonment and by a fine from €8,000 to €18,000, or one of these penalties.

In addition, the client may sue the company with a civil claim for damages relating to violation of professional secrecy.