Switzerland, a mountainous Central European country, is home to the high peaks of the Alps, villages, and many lakes. Swiss Franc (CHF) is Switzerland's currency. In May of 1850, Switzerland officially recognized the Swiss franc as its currency after replacing numerous currencies issued by the various cantons. The franc, initially issued in 1850, was on par with the French franc. Within 1865 and the 1920s, Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland established the Latin Monetary Union; the prices of all four currencies were tied to the price of silver.
The Swiss franc was a member of the Bretton Woods exchange rate system established after World War II and continued until the early 1970s. The currency's exchange rate was linked to the price of gold till a referendum in May 2000. Between 2003 and 2006, the Swiss franc was steady against the euro. In 2008 the currency was even valued higher than the USD. Switzerland is recognized for its neutrality: since 1815, it has not engaged in an armed dispute. The country's banks have had a secrecy policy that dates back to the Middle Ages and was only written into law in 1934. In 2009, the secrecy laws were revised to restrict tax evasion by non-Swiss account holders.