Which Swiss Bank Is Best For Foreigners part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here.
It should also be noted that in the modern-day, private banks seldom offer the best service or value for money
The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
Consider all the options when you’re looking to open a Swiss bank account. Many institutions allow accounts from any country, while others allow certain nationalities to open accounts. Take into account that some banks have several branches in major cities throughout Switzerland, while others may have just one or two offices.
The more extensive your search for a suitable institution, the better your chances of finding an account that meets all your requirements. Some banks operating in Switzerland are more likely to accept accounts from non-Swiss citizens than others.
A few developed countries, including Australia and Canada, have trade agreements with Switzerland that allow their citizens to open Swiss bank accounts without restriction. So if you’re a citizen of one of these countries, you may want to start your search by looking at the list of eligible institutions on the Trade Council website.
Although Switzerland is known as a tax haven, it’s not likely that foreigners will escape all taxation by putting their money into a Swiss bank account. The United States and Germany have agreements with Switzerland that allow their citizens to open Swiss bank accounts, but they are subject to certain restrictions.
In this article, we explore all the factors you need to consider when choosing a Swiss bank account. We take a look at how different types of people are affected by the various options and explain some of the ways in which your choice can affect your tax status.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Swiss Bank
An expat moving to Switzerland must choose a bank. This could be one of the most time-consuming and exhausting parts of pre-arrival preparations. This is because choosing a Swiss bank account can be difficult for those without the local language or the local banking system.
However, it should also be considered an important part of expatriation as it can be a time-saving and convenient way to manage your finances. Without further ado, below are the factors expats need to consider when choosing a Swiss bank account.
As mentioned previously, choosing a bank account without knowing the local language can be an exhausting and time-consuming task. Many people who move to Switzerland may not speak any of the four official languages, which are German, French, Italian, and Romansh. If this is the case for you, it may be best to choose a bank with an international presence, such as HSBC or UBS.
Swiss banks are known for their high fees on accounts that might be standard in other countries. For example, most banks charge a monthly fee of CHF 10-15, although some go up to around CHF 50/month, depending on the account. Additionally, there will be charges for using ATMs abroad and purchases made on foreign cards issued by Swiss banks. Some banks waive fees on certain accounts if you maintain a minimum balance of CHF 100,000 or more.
There are many different bank accounts that expats can choose from – just like in any other country. However, it is recommended that you choose an account that best suits your needs. Before moving to Switzerland, it is important to organize which bank accounts you would like to keep in the country and consider better options available for different financial transactions.
Ease of Use
Swiss banks are mainly known for their convenience and ease of use. For example, many banks offer even more convenient payment methods such as online banking, mobile apps, pre-authorized payments, debit cards with contactless PIN pads, etc. Expats should consider the various ways they would like to make day-to-day transactions before choosing a Swiss bank account.
One of the less important factors and more personal to you, but worth considering, is how often and in what ways you would like to use your bank account. If you plan to make regular payments to or from Switzerland while abroad, then it might be best to choose a Swiss bank that offers this option.
Alternatively, if you only plan on making occasional transactions, then it may be best to choose a bank with low charges. It is also important to note that Swiss banks are known for their privacy policies. Many people choosing a Swiss bank will want the option of having only limited visibility into their account or not allowing other parties – including other family members – to access it at all.
It is also worth considering your relationship with other expat community members. If there are many people you know who use the same banks as you, then it may be best to choose another bank so that you can begin your integration on a clean slate.
However, if you decide to change banks once already settled in Switzerland, it is important to note that changing banks isn’t as easy as in many other countries.
Finally, you should consider what security features are available with the accounts offered by Swiss banks. Many banks will provide different levels of security depending on how much access you give them; for example, some may require two-factor authentication, whereas others provide the option of only permitting specific types of transactions.
Interesting Things about Swiss Bank you don’t know
Are you looking for a bank where your money is safe and hidden? Look no further than the Swiss banks. Here are five things about Swiss banking that aren’t well known.
1. Best Defense against Tax
Traditionally most people invest in physical gold or other precious metals as their savings or retirement account investments. But the Swiss government has been clamping down on hidden accounts, making it harder to deposit money without paying taxes. In order to still be able to benefit from this high level of security, many people have turned towards cryptocurrencies as a way of hiding their assets off the grid.
2. Swiss Banks Serve More People with Over 1 Million Dollars
Switzerland has a long banking tradition, and it’s not easy for an average person to open an account in a Swiss bank. The reason is that banks like private clients who can deposit over 1 million dollars and be able to take advantage of both the security as well as the very low-interest rates on their deposits.
If you are currently saving money, you’re better off looking for a bank that offers the same level of protection with lower deposits. As countries around the world join forces to fight financial crimes through tax evasion, it’s more complicated than ever to hide your savings in Swiss banks.
3. No National Identification Number System
The lack of a national identification number system in Switzerland is an easy way to protect the privacy of their citizens. Multiple agencies can provide information about your Swiss bank, but they do not keep it centrally stored.
Therefore no one agency has access to your full financial records. You will need to ask them for this information separately (i.e., from the bank you want to withdraw from).
4. Swiss Banks Do Not Accept Anonymous Accounts
Swiss bank account holders must have a valid ID and proof of address in order to open an account, which means that these accounts are not illegal or considered as part of any tax evasion scheme.
Many people will attempt to open a fake account, but this is not possible without proof of identity and account number. These banks take your financial information and personal data seriously and work with authorities to ensure that their clients abide by all laws.
5. The Swiss Banking Model Has Changed
Switzerland has had a long tradition of being a haven for those who want to put their money in a safe place. But the rules of banking have changed over the past few years, and it’s no longer an easy task to open an account if you don’t meet the financial requirements.
Furthermore, with the increased government pressure on Swiss banks to close clients who are suspected of fraud or tax evasion, the number of banks participating in this practice is decreasing. In order to open an account, you will have to be able to prove that your money comes from a legitimate source and must be taxed appropriately.
Best Swiss Banks for Foreigners
Switzerland is a safe haven for many people who want to keep their wealth private. That’s because the country has strong bank secrecy laws, which allow for anonymous bank accounts and tax havens. In this section, we will walk you through the best Swiss banks for foreigners as of today. Check it out below!
UBS is the largest of all the Swiss banks and one of the world’s most prominent wealth managers. It provides services to high net-worth private and institutional clients worldwide with a focus on Switzerland and Europe. Its key markets include Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, and Austria.
UBS offers investment management (private banking), retail financial services (wealth management), and asset management (investment banking). UBS is one of the main shareholders of the Swiss stock exchange, which accounts for almost 50 percent. It provides investment banking services to corporate and institutional clients in all sectors of the economy as well as retail customers.
UBS has over CHF 2 trillion assets under management (AuM) and serves private, institutional, and corporate clients worldwide. Swiss Universal Bank is the marketing name for UBS’s various retail banking activities in Switzerland. UBS has over CHF 333 billion AuM under management invested in bonds, certificates of deposit, stocks, funds, etc.
UBS opened its first branch office at Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich, in 1854. In the first half of 2021, global revenues at UBS were $33billion, according to Forbes. It employs over 66’500 people worldwide and operates in over 50 countries.
Credit Suisse is one of the leading financial services providers globally. It operates through a global network of around 46,000 employees and agents in more than 50 countries worldwide. Credit Suisse is headquartered at Paradeplatz, Zürich, and it serves retail and commercial clients with banking and investment services.
Credit Suisse has its presence in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle-East. It has over CHF 1.8 trillion AuM invested in bonds, certificates of deposit, stocks, etc. Credit Suisse is active through its investment banking unit CS Securities, on the Euro MTF market for smaller companies (Prime Standard). It restructured itself into three business divisions: Swiss Universal Bank, Private Banking, and Investment Banking.
Pictet & Cie is a Swiss private bank with traditions dating back more than 200 years. It operates as a house of independent asset managers, serving private clients worldwide with investment products across various strategies and diversified asset classes. The company has its presence in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas.
PICTET offers investment management services to individuals or families through portfolio management for discretionary accounts, financial advisory services to ultra-high-net-worth clients or family offices, and fiduciary business for institutional investors. As of 2021, it managed about CHF 7 trillion AuM.
Dreyfus is a Swiss venture capital and private equity firm which invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the world. It has developed into one of the largest independent asset management companies with CHF 245 billion AuM invested in stocks, bonds, etc.
DREYFUS offers advisory services for business start-ups and financial consulting services for assistance in investment options. Dreyfus is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, and has branches in Switzerland (Zürich), Paris, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
It also has representative offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The company’s active clients are approximately 10’000, with an average account size of CHF 100’000. DREYFUS generated total revenues of CHF 533 million in 2018.
REICHMUTH & CO.
Reichmuth & Co. is a Swiss independent asset management firm that manages investment portfolios for private and institutional clients from its headquarters in Zürich. It has been managing assets since 1873 and has CHF 414 billion AuM under management invested in stocks, bonds, etc. Reichmuth & Co. offers various services like portfolio management, asset custody, etc., to its clients.
Reichmuth & Co. is active through its subsidiary Reichmuth Wealth Management AG in all major financial centers across Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific regions. Reichmuth & Co has over 1’000 institutional clients, represented by an average of six investment managers.
BNP PARIBAS Bank
BNP Paribas is a leading bank with a global presence across five continents and local expertise in 75 countries. It has CHF 2.3 trillion AuM invested in over 1’000 equity and fixed-income funds under its management as of 2018.
BNP Paribas has been catering to the needs of private, corporate, and institutional clients across the world. The bank offers a variety of financial products and services such as asset management, insurance brokerage, etc.
BNP Paribas is headquartered in Paris, France, and Switzerland through its subsidiary BNPP Wealth Management SA. It provides a range of investment services to private individuals and institutions across Europe. BNP Paribas Wealth Management offers investment advisory, discretionary management service, etc., to its clients.
CIMB Group Holdings Berhad is a financial services conglomerate in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The group offers insurance brokerage, asset management, investment banking, etc., to retail, SME, and large corporations worldwide through its subsidiaries. As of 2019, CIM BANK managed about RM 687 billion AuM in over 400 funds.
CIMB INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT is the asset management arm of CIM BANK Group, established in 1990 to distribute products and offer advisory services to retail investors across Malaysia with assets under management (AuM) worth RM 2.45 billion in 2018.
For more than 200 years, it has operated through its subsidiaries, such as Bank Lombard Odier & Co. Ltd., which serves private individuals and institutional clients through its exclusive establishments in Switzerland; Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Ltd.; Fides Asset Management Ltd.; J Trust Co., Ltd., a financial service provider that caters to retail investors in Japan with AuM valued at about JPY 5.5 trillion; etc.