Swiss Banking

Switzerland is very famous for banking, and the swiss value privacy and discretion in financial matters. Recently, Switzerland was under enormous pressure from various governments in the world, including US on the “swiss bank secrecy” and tax evasion.  Eventually Switzerland concluded double taxation agreements, with various governments offering assistance to criminal and tax evasion matters.  Privacy still exist in Switzerland,  but it cannot protect criminals and tax evaders.

In Switzerland, generally banks serve clients under 2 sectors

1. Retail
2. Private Banking

In Retail, most banks open account for you with over CHF 5000 to CHF 10,000 deposit and banks open multicurrency accounts. UBS and Credit Suisse are the biggest banks in Switzerland.

In Private banking, such banks serve wealthy clients and expect a minimum deposit of CHF 200,000 or more.

There are no taxes for non resident foreign nationals, maintaining a bank account in Switzerland, except if you own a Swiss Franc (CHF) account, the 35% swiss withhold tax apply on the interest accrued in the account and this amount is automatically debited by the bank yearly. To avoid this tax, you can denominate your account in a foreign currency such as EUR or USD.

The interest rates paid by banks for CHF account is usually low about 0.25% where as EUR account receive approx 0.50%. All deposits in banks are insured upto CHF 100,000.

To open a bank account, you will need to directly go in person or can be done by mail. Each bank has its own restrictions and it is advisable to contact the bank by phone or through their website. Please visit this website for list of banks in Switzerland: www.swconsult.ch/chbanks/

Note: We do not assist clients with opening bank accounts in Switzerland