Anti-corruption and banking secrecy

Jan 30, 2024

We invite you to read the letter to the editor of Diario Financiero written by our Compliance group director, Francisca Franzani, together with Loreto Hoyos, senior associate of the Penal group.

Recent anti-corruption legislative initiatives, including the Economic Crimes Act, have sparked a necessary debate. While there are proposals that update the regulations in a reasonable manner, others threaten confidentiality, privacy and trust in institutions.

The reform that intensifies auditing and encourages tax compliance intends to incorporate modifications with respect to banking secrecy, which is enshrined in our current Banking Law. The intended reforms undermine the balance between financial privacy and supervision by establishing mechanisms that violate the privacy and presumption of innocence of citizens, imposing disproportionate procedural burdens and reduced deadlines on taxpayers, a matter that undoubtedly affects the possibility of taxpayers authorizing third parties to access their financial data without a full assessment of the consequences and their rights.

This measure, while seeking efficiency in auditing, could unduly invade the personal sphere by facilitating access to financial information, eroding confidence in the financial system.

As the president of the CPC recently indicated, protecting financial privacy is crucial. Beyond the “he who does nothing, fears nothing” argument, banking confidentiality safeguards the autonomy and individual rights of citizens, fosters a climate of trust essential for the country’s economic development and financial stability, and safeguards the security of institutions and democracy.

Anti-corruption reforms cannot be detrimental to the pillars of financial privacy, which are necessary for political-economic stability and investment in the country.

Francisca Franzani | Director Compliance Group | ffranzani@az.cl

Loreto Hoyos | Senior Associate, Criminal Group | lhoyos@az.cl

Available in Diario Financiero (30-01) [See here].

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