|Open a Classic Swiss Bank Account|
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|Classic Swiss Bank Account|
| || Powerful Swiss account with excellent investment services and reasonable banking fees. Branches in all major Swiss cities. Only available for clients from selected countries (see below). Ideal to store money in full security and total privacy and watch it grow. This account is covered by a CHF 100'000
deposit insurance (equivalent to $90,000 or EUR 68,000 or £63,000) more… |
About the bank | Minimum balance | Setup mode | Internet banking | Mail retaining
- Full internet banking access available worldwide
- Full Swiss bank secrecy
- Low minimum balance
- International credit and debit cards
- Multiple currencies accounts
- Branches all over Switzerland
- Mail retaining
- You will be assigned your own Swiss banker and always deal with him
- Formerly known as 'Swiss Personal Account'
Credit cards | Investments | Banking charges and expenses | Account officer language | Available currencies
The set-up fee for this account is 899.00 Swiss francs (equivalent to $805
or EUR 612 or £564). This
one-time fee is fully refundable if the bank rejects your application.
| ||About the bank|
This account is opened with an 80-year-old Swiss retail bank with branches in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Basel and other locations in
The bank's majority shareholder is a Swiss canton. This state shareholding has absolutely no bearing on Swiss bank secrecy, which
applies fully. But it is always conforting to know that a bank has a powerful and wealthy shareholder such as a Swiss canton.
The bank's branches are located in modern buildings in
the centre of Swiss cities. You will not have the red-carpet, marble and old leather feel of most Swiss banks but rather that of a regular high-street bank with simple, no-frills offices. Our clients are met in their account officer's private office in the upper floors.
account officers dealing with our clients have all been personally interviewed
by us and provide good, reliable service, in English, French, German, Italian or
| ||Minimum balance|
The bank expects you to deposit no less than 25,000 Swiss francs (equivalent to $22,000 or EUR 17,000 or £16,000) within a month of opening the account and maintain this balance for as long as you
keep the account. If you open the account in person, you must deposit at least $448 or EUR 341 or £313 the day you open and can send the rest later. Please consider that if for some reason you cannot deposit the minimum balance within a month, it is imperative you contact your account officer to inform him of the delay, so it is clear to him that you didn't forget about the account. If you leave your account empty and don't contact your banker, the bank will close your account after 90 days.
We have negotiated this low minimum balance
for our clients but please consider that the bank's target client uses his/her account for long-term saving and investment. If your plan is to receive some payment and spend it all with a card, the bank won't be interested to do business with you. This does not mean you can't use your funds - quite the contrary. The money is never blocked so you can withdraw part or all of it at any time. But the bank does not offer current accounts
for foreign clients. To maintain a mutually satisfactory relationship with
the bank, we recommend you leave at least 50% of what you deposit beyond the
minimum balance to be invested. For instance, if you deposit 200,000 Swiss
francs in the year, we recommend you do not withdraw more than 100,000 CHF in
the short run. Of course if you have sold a house and need to buy a new one and
this is a one-off operation and a reasonable balance will remain invested on the
account, your Swiss banker won't mind of course. This is your money. But
Swiss banks just don't want to see their accounts used as short terms funnels
for money that comes in and goes out all the time.
Some examples to clarify:
- Mrs A deposits 25,000 Swiss francs upon opening,
then 5,000 Swiss francs a month. She asks for an ATM card and spends
about 2,000 Swiss francs a month. No problem.
- Mr B deposits 500,000 Swiss francs from a house sale
and withdraws 250,000 a month later to buy a flat. As a courtesy, he calls his Swiss banker
and explains him what it is about. The remaining 250,000 Swiss
francs are invested in short-term bonds. No problem.
- Mrs C deposits 10,000 Swiss
francs every other month for 2 years and invests her funds in gold. The balance is
now 120,000 Swiss francs. She decides to buy a vacation home abroad and
withdraws 100,000 Swiss francs to that effect. As a courtesy, she calls her
Swiss banker and tells him about her new property investment and intention to
continue using the account to build up capital just like in the past. No problem.
- Mr D deposits 20,000 Swiss francs, asks for a bank
card and spends 2,000 Swiss francs a month until there is only 5,000 Swiss
francs on the account. Not
acceptable. The banker calls Mr D and asks him to close his
The amount considered for the minimum balance is not just the cash but the total of all invested assets on your account, including any bonds, stocks, precious metal or mutual funds.
| ||Setup mode|
This account can be opened in person or by mail.
To open by mail, you need to fill out an application on this site and pay the account set up fee. The procedure takes about 10 days and we will need to mail you contracts which you need to send back signed along with the other documents explained below. More ...
To open in person, you need to take an appointment with our head office in Switzerland, Monday to Friday and come with the documents explained below. We will go together to the bank and open your account within 3 hours. More ...
The documents needed to open an account (by mail or in person) are your passport, a utility bill and documents about the economic origin of the money you intend to deposit. If opening by mail, you will need to authenticate a photocopy of your passport according to our instructions.
If your deposits exceed 500,000 Swiss Francs (equivalent to $448,000 or EUR 341,000 or £313,000) you need to come personnally to the bank at least one time within the first 6 months of opening your account.
|Minimum balance||Setup mode||Country of residence|
|In person||By mail|
|Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Guadeloupe, Hong-Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Martinique, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Reunion, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, Vatican City.|
|Rest of the world|
|If you are a citizen or a resident of one of the following countries you cannot open this account: |
Afghanistan, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Congo-Brazzaville, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Liberia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, USA, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe.
| ||Internet banking|
Powerful online banking system that enables you to:
All this from any Internet connection in the world. No special software is required.
- Read your account statements online
- Make bank transfers worldwide
- Send and receive encrypted messages to your account officer in Switzerland
- Easy to use interface through regular internet browser
Security trough military-grade encryption with two passwords.
Available in English, French, German and Italian. No country restrictions.
| ||Mail retaining|
Available for 200 Swiss francs a year (equivalent to $179 or EUR 136 or £125).
The bank can hold all mail and not send you anything unless you specifically request it. You can either pick up your statement in Switzerland or ask them to be mailed anywere you like in bulk, for instance once a year.
| ||Credit cards|
You can have two different bank cards with this account, provided you have enough money on your account:
Swiss Travel Cash Card Recommended
A 100% Swiss electronic version of the Travellers Cheque, you prepay this card with up to €10,000, US $10,000 or 10,000 Swiss
francs and then use it to withdraw cash at over 1 million money dispenser (ATMs) across the world using the Maestro network. There is just no relation between your account and the card. The card is issued by a Swiss company. No annual cost - you pay 1% of whatever amount you load into the cards and nothing more. You can log on to the Internet to check your balance and where the money was spent. Cost to withdraw cash at ATMs outside Switzerland is 5 Swiss francs per withdrawal (equivalent to $4.48 or EUR 3.41 or £3.13).
International Visa and
Mastercard credit cards
These cards are accepted all over the world. You need to deposit 50,000 Swiss francs to get a card (equivalent to $45,000 or EUR 34,000 or £31,000). All cards are denominated in Swiss francs but work worldwide. Annual costs for an entry
level card (Swiss franc silver Mastercard) cost 100 Swiss francs a year (equivalent to $90 or EUR 68 or £63). Cost to withdraw money at cash dispensers outside Switzerland is 2.5% with a 10 Swiss francs minimum (equivalent to $8.96 or EUR 6.81 or £6.27).
The Swiss bankers at this bank offer good quality, solid financial advice with an eye on the client's long term interest of the client rather than trying to push the bank's own products. We like the way this bank goes about advising its clients on investments.
Extensive investment services with mutual funds, bonds and stocks in all major currencies. The bank has access to the many mutual funds offered by Swiss cantonal banks (not applicable to US clients).
You can also buy and sell bonds and shares directly from your account by talking to your Swiss banker. Commissions for Swiss equities from 0.42% to 1.1%, for
US, European and Canadian stock market 0.9% to 1.8%. The larger the order the smaller the
| ||Banking charges and expenses|
Outgoing international bank transfers cost 4 Swiss francs each (equivalent to $3.58 or EUR 2.72 or £2.51) if ordered
The bank does not issue checkbooks - we don't use them in Switzerland.
No charge for incoming Swiss or international bank transfers.
Depositing international cheques cost
10 Swiss francs (equivalent to $8.96 or EUR 6.81 or £6.27) for the first cheque and 5 Swiss francs for each additional cheque in the same batch. Cheques are credited on your account only when they clear. Please understand that in Switzerland, foreign cheques are just pieces of paper and they have to be physically mailed back to the issuing bank before any money can be credited to your account. A bank transfer is much faster.
Annual account maintenance costs 0.5 Swiss Franc (equivalent to $0.45 or EUR 0.34 or £0.31) per entry on your
account statement (additional costs if you have stock market investments).
These costs are indicative only and are subject to change by the
| ||Account officer language|
| || - French |
| ||Available currencies|
| || Any currency|
| ||Set-up fee|
| ||The one-time setup fee to open this account is 899.00 Swiss Francs (equivalent to $805 or EUR 612 or £564).|
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