Switzerland has increasingly developed, especially because of Hollywood. Switzerland prohibits publicizing banking information. Numbered accounts are legal in Switzerland. When Swiss banks are performing international transactions on your behalf, you will need to provide personal information. This makes it a safe place for people who are seeking privacy. Among the people who visit Switzerland include students, workers and investors. If you are an expat, this article will guide you through the process of opening a bank account in Switzerland.
Documents Needed to Open a Bank Account
It is somehow complicated to open a bank account in Switzerland. This is because it is known to a safe place for people seeking privacy and hence in case of an issue, banks are held responsible. It is important you present the following documents in person, proof of identity like a passport, proof of residence such as a visa and proof of address like a utility bill. Also, you will need a correspondent bank if there is a local branch in your home country. For non-residents, they will be required to provide proof of income or produce a letter from the employer and also make a deposit to the account.
Is it Possible to Open a Bank Account as a Non-Resident?
You can open a bank account as a non-resident. However, you will need to provide more documents than a resident. You will need to prove that you can pay your bills by providing documents that show details of your income. To activate the account, you will need to make an initial deposit. Also, you must authorize the bank to notify your home country about your banking activities for taxation.
Can I Open a Bank Account Abroad?
You can open a bank account remotely. However, you will be required to send documents via post. It is also possible to open a bank account using a representative who will present the documents to the bank on your behalf.
Opening a bank account in person is easier before you arrive in Switzerland. This happens because it is challenging to open a bank account without a permanent address. Landlords might find it difficult to offer you lease without having a local bank account.
Best Banks in Switzerland
There are many choices of banks where you can open an account in Switzerland. In case you want a bank where you can make day to day transactions, private and investment banks might not work well for you. The following are some of the banks you might consider to open an account with.
1. Post Finance
Post Finance is run by the post office. They have banking services such as currency accounts in more than ten different currencies such as EUR, CHF. They have affordable rates and free student accounts with favorable interest rates.
UBS is one of the largest banks in Switzerland. It has well-networked ATMs and branches countrywide. Banking information is available online in English which can be accessed using mobile phones. They have a wide variety of banking products which can be customized from a menu. The bank has flat fees structure.
3. Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse is a global bank and has that has services for expats. They provide an individual consultation when you open a bank account to ensure that you choose the best package and product. They have a wide range of banking services which include mortgages and pensions. They have branches well situated all over the country with well-networked ATMs.
Using Virtual Bank Account as an Alternative
As an expat, you will need to send money outside Switzerland frequently. You can request your bank to assist you. However, the process might be expensive due to the currency conversion fee. Banks make use of mid-market rates to exchange funds between themselves, which increases the cost.
There is an alternative way; you can use a virtual bank account with your IBAN. This process can be used to send funds to over 32 countries in more 212 currencies. When you use this method, you will; save 85 percent of the fees you could have otherwise spent as conversion fee.
Switzerland became part of SEPA in 2006. Therefore, all the swiss payments must respect the set standards by the member states. You should expect to be charged normal banking fees. Some of these charges include a monthly fee for using the bank account. The other fees include ATM charges while the credit and debit cards can attract annual fees.