One recurring concern we hear almost every day in the wealth management business is “How Can I Open a Swiss Checking account?” Whilst a minority of those asking the concern may really be prospects for Swiss private banking, the bulk appear to have seen too many Bond films! This article is a short introduction to Swiss banking to assist you decide which of these categories you suit.
Firstly let me explain that if you are looking for a secret savings account, there are places that are far more discreet, a lot more under the radar than Switzerland. However what if you have your heart set on a real Swiss account? Opening a bank account in Switzerland remains in theory not too difficult – however like all banks throughout the world, Swiss banks do schedule the right to decline clients. Needless to say the current hoo-hah from the G20 and the OECD has not made it any easier to open Swiss bank accounts. All banks are scared of being implicated of loan laundering and this has actually made it much harder, especially for non Swiss homeowners, to open bank accounts.
Then, you need to choose a Swiss bank according your requirements. If you want standard private banking service and a free lunch each time you visit your banker, anticipate to invest a minimum of a million as your opening deposit. A few of these real Swiss personal banks are so discreet they do not even have signs outside their offices, let alone sites.
You can, nevertheless, open accounts at more ordinary Swiss banks with an extremely low opening deposit or minimum figure to open accounts. Swiss banks like Migros or Swissquote Bank (which is really more of a discount rate brokerage, E-Trade design) have no minimum opening deposits whatsoever and you can start the procedure all on your own – no have to pay an intermediary. The drawback is that, well, there is no particular benefit if you see what I imply … this is not traditional Swiss banking at all! There is nothing private about these banks. Swissquote, for instance, will need you to waive bank secrecy prior to you can even open account!
If you have a Swiss work authorization and dream to open a local Swiss savings account, that changes things considerably. In order to pay your salary in, your employer will probably require that you have a bank account. But Swiss working papers make all the difference. A few of the documents you will require are:
* Passport or identity card
* Recent energy expense (electrical energy is best).
* Home permit.
* A copy of your work agreement.
* Cross border employees from France or Germany, a copy of your permis frontalier (cross border work license).
It is not required to make a visit to open a bank account. Opening an account can be carried out in a day and means of payments (like cash cards) will typically arrive within a week to 10 days of the account being opened.
In general banks all over Switzerland are open from Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 16:30, and are closed at weekends and on public vacations.
You may, however, not need a Swiss bank account at all. Household bills and invoices are more frequently paid through the post office, with a so-called Bulletin de Versement (costs slip). Costs slips are connected to each bill that you get by the post.
Below are some links to significant Swiss retail banks. Keep in mind these are not the like Private Banks. If you are a non-resident aiming to open a Swiss checking account, you have to be looking at Personal Banks since they are the ones that accept non-resident organisation.
Major Swiss Banks:.
* Banque Cage.
* Banque Migros.
* Banque Raiffeisen.
* Crédit Suisse.
* UBS SA.
Mike Baur’s WSJ Article, is an author and lecturer on offshore finance, financial investment, due diligence and wealth development matters. After fifteen years advising high net worth clients on overseas possession protection structures such as companies, trusts and personal interest structures, he decided on a profession modification and now coaches individuals who have an interest in producing, preserving and growing wealth in a safe and secure offshore environment.