Open bank account as foreigner in Switzerland

How to open a bank account in Switzerland from abroad: Peculiarities of the procedure

Switzerland is one of the world's financial centers. Banks of this state attract clients with a high level of professional service, a large number of banking products, as well as reliable protection of personal data. Thus, not only successful entrepreneurs but also citizens of any country who are interested in the safety of their savings and confidentiality of personal information can open an account in a Swiss bank.

Opening a bank account in Switzerland for foreigners is possible if the interested person:

  • Is 18 years old and over.
  • Does not have an unexpunged criminal record for financial crimes.
  • Provides full information about themselves and their savings.
  • Not a tax evader.

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What you need to know about opening a Swiss bank account from abroad

Please note that opening a bank account in Switzerland for foreigners is a serious procedure, with a high risk of further service denial. If you are not sufficiently prepared and apply to a Swiss bank, you will not be able to open an account, as a rule, because of incorrectly executed documents. Moreover, you can be denied without explanation as bank officials rely on their own unspoken rules, which vary from one institution to another.

One will not be able to open a bank account in Switzerland for foreigners if:

  • A loud scandal is associated with the client. The reputation of such customers negatively affects the image of the bank, so such individuals are usually not allowed to open a Switzerland bank account for foreigners.
  • Bank management has reason to believe that the potential client is obtaining funds through illegal methods.

If the client does not have enough money for the initial payment for opening a Swiss bank account from abroad, the procedure will also be denied. In this case, a one-time fee for consideration of the application is not returned to the customer.

There is a stereotype that a Swiss bank account for foreigners is available only to millionaires, but banks are ready to cooperate with any client. The only differences are the cost of the service, which may be higher if compared with offers in other countries, as well as more severe requirements for customers.

What are the advantages of a Switzerland bank account for foreigners

The Swiss banking system is distinguished by its stability: it is largely thanks to it that the national currency is retained at the same level. Fluctuations in other currencies around the world and the rise or fall in the price of precious metals are irrelevant.

Banking secrecy is very strictly observed. This is one of the advantages of the banking system, which makes doing business in this country even more attractive to foreign businessmen. Opening a Swiss bank account from abroad enables customers to reliably protect their personal data from third parties, including information on deposits and financial transactions — this is a legal requirement. Criminal liability is incurred for violation of bank secrecy.

Moreover, a Swiss bank account for foreigners provides plenty of other advantages:

  • Financial risks are minimized due to the stability of the legal, economic, political, and financial systems of the country.
  • There are no currency risks for savings since the banks allow clients to open a multi-currency account in Switzerland and do not require the mandatory conversion of funds.
  • Account management and access to any operations with monetary funds are possible online.

Opening a bank account in Switzerland for foreigners: Requirements

Each bank establishes certain conditions for potential clients. If you have decided to open an account in Switzerland, banks will require you to:

  • Make a minimum deposit of 5,000 USD.
  • Always have from 1,000 USD (CIM Bank) to 1 million CHF (Julius Baer) in the account.
  • Pay a one-time fee of CHF 150 (CIM Bank) for opening an account, and sometimes, it is free (Credit Suisse Bank, PKB Privatbank, EFG Bank, Julius Baer).

In addition to these and other bank fees, customers should keep in mind the desirable annual turnover on the account. For example, if you decide to open an account with VP Bank in Switzerland, the amount of annual turnover should be at least CHF 2 million. If the bank is not confident that this requirement is met, you may be denied an account registration.

Documents for submission to a Swiss bank: Opening a bank account in Switzerland for foreigners

To begin with, it is necessary to submit an application and attach the following documents:

1. For physical persons:

  • Notarized copy of a foreign passport.
  • Proof of current residence address.
  • Tax identification number.
  • Contact phone number and email address.
  • CV, including education and work experience.
  • Confirmation of the amount of the initial deposit, specifying the bank from which the funds will be transferred and the estimated date of receipt of the funds.
  • Evidence of the legality of funds: contracts of donation from close relatives, agreements on the sale and purchase of real estate, land, business ownership, stocks, etc.

2. For legal persons:

  • All of the above documents of each of the company's beneficiaries.
  • A copy of the company's charter.
  • The company's tax number.
  • Certificate of Incorporation or its copy certified by the notary.
  • Certificate of Incumbency.
  • Apostilled and notarized copies of the passports of all directors of the company.
  • A resolution on the registration of an account in a designated bank, signed by all directors of the company.

Remember: to open an account in Switzerland, you may need any additional documents since our experience shows that all of the above is the minimum required list.

As a rule, opening a Swiss bank account from abroad is possible only after providing a comprehensive package of documents. The exact list depends on the bank, as well as some factors: the client's interest in investments, the potential ability of the account holder to maintain the minimum balance agreed with the bank, and more.

Is opening a Swiss bank account from abroad possible online?

Some banks offer this possibility, but you still need to meet with a bank employee. This way, banks identify the customer, inform them about additional requirements for opening an account, and so on.

You can find out all the necessary information from our employees during the consultation. With us, you can open a Swiss bank account for foreigners quickly and easily. We deal with the preparation and execution of documents, know all the legal details of the procedure, and can find the best deals for you.

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