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  #21  
Old 27.05.2013, 20:22
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

If your mom is staying in Canada, give her a power of attorney using the Canadian bank's form for everyone's convenience. Sign it at the bank so that they are satisfied that everything has been filled in properly. Once you have your account here, your mom can do a wire transfer to your account.
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  #22  
Old 27.05.2013, 20:26
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

I've only just seen that you're moving to Oberaargau. Will they accept Swiss Francs there, or are they still using a barter system and groats?
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Old 27.05.2013, 20:36
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

This entire post makes me wonder what century the banks in Canada are in! A number of years ago transferred a decent sum not millions but enough that mattered from a standard bank in Australia to a Kantonal bank here via bank transfer with a few days involved. Fee paid was 50AUD and all done by a phone call and a fax of signatures to the relevant person in the bank n australia.

This post makes me think that you are dealing with banks from the prehistoric era or is it just that australian banks are so much more advanced as international transfers is something these banks do daily
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Old 27.05.2013, 20:43
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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This entire post makes me wonder what century the banks in Canada are in! A number of years ago transferred a decent sum not millions but enough that mattered from a standard bank in Australia to a Kantonal bank here via bank transfer with a few days involved. Fee paid was 50AUD and all done by a phone call and a fax of signatures to the relevant person in the bank n australia.

This post makes me think that you are dealing with banks from the prehistoric era or is it just that australian banks are so much more advanced as international transfers is something these banks do daily
The answer is that it was easier before 9/11. Banks have stricter rules to follow as a result of statutes such as the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
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Old 27.05.2013, 20:46
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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The answer is that it was easier before 9/11. Banks have stricter rules to follow as a result of statutes such as the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
I did it only 4years ago well after 9/11 and totally easy in fact a transfer of 9.99K via internet banking will cost me 20CHF on the outbound transfer even now
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Old 27.05.2013, 21:35
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

Actually the bank tells me it was possible until about 1 month ago! But they have just recently tightened up everything, just our luck, should have moved two months ago and it would have been much easier.

EvenPar, my mom is in Switzerland, so she is trying to help me from that end.
Sounds like XE is the best solution though, getting onto that right now.
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  #27  
Old 27.05.2013, 21:59
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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Wow, there is a lot of misinformation on this thread.

First, a few hints. You can use a cheque or bankers draft to bring the money over here, but this is a very expensive and time-consuming process. Your Swiss bank will charge you handsomely for this service, and they won't credit your account until the funds have cleared. This can take weeks or even months in some cases. You won't have any visibility of the exchange rate that you'll get -- you'll get the rate on the day that the money clears.

Summary: your money will get here, eventually, but at a high cost. Not a great choice.

A much better solution is to use XE.com to transfer the money. You can do all the paperwork and set up the account now (this takes a few days, so better to get the process started well in advance). You'll have instant visibility of the exchange rate that you'll get, no additional fees to pay at either end, and a simple domestic Canadian transaction from the point-of-view of your Canadian bank. The whole process takes about 3 days from initiating the transfer until the money is in your Swiss bank account.

The other advantage of this is that you can first transfer a *small* amount of money to make sure that everything works as intended. It's a little nerve-wracking to have your entire life savings lost somewhere in the international banking system (I speak from first-hand experience).

XE does nothing all day but move money back-and-forth internationally. They're specialists at it, and they do it very well.

A final solution would be to leave a signed wire order, without recipient account details, with your bank manager in Canada. Tell him/her that you'll give them the account details later (they'll probably insist on a fax - it's a very old-world system). This would also work if your bank manager is willing to take the draft, although this depends on how strong your relationship is with the bank.

If your bank isn't a specialist expat bank (like HSBC), I actually don't like this option too much. The banks don't have much experience moving money internationally, and there are too many things that can go wrong.

As I said before, I'd use a specialist broker like XE. It'll be the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to get your money over here.
About "You can use a cheque or bankers draft to bring the money over here, but this is a very expensive and time-consuming process."

I agree about "time-consuming process" but not about "very expensive".

I transferred a five figure sum by personal cheque and the charges from a Swiss bank were about a quarter of what Barclays proposed for them to do an electronic transfer - Barclays personal electronic banking is very limited on what you can transfer internationally yourself.

This does not mean personal cheque is the cheapest option!
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  #28  
Old 27.05.2013, 22:21
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

Did you look at RBC ? They have a wealth management division based in Geneva. They have a minimum balance requirement and without that amount they will not help. If you meet the minimum sum they will take care of you.

Alternatively just bring cash for a few months and then on your next trip home make the transfer and close your accounts then.
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  #29  
Old 28.05.2013, 00:52
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

Where were you when we moved over last year? Wish we'd known this. Fair enough we left it late as we didn't realise it was going to be an issue. BMO were useless and giving us any advice on how to move our money to Switzerland. The best they came up with was the bankers draft which would take many weeks to clear.

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Wow, there is a lot of misinformation on this thread.

First, a few hints. You can use a cheque or bankers draft to bring the money over here, but this is a very expensive and time-consuming process. Your Swiss bank will charge you handsomely for this service, and they won't credit your account until the funds have cleared. This can take weeks or even months in some cases. You won't have any visibility of the exchange rate that you'll get -- you'll get the rate on the day that the money clears.

Summary: your money will get here, eventually, but at a high cost. Not a great choice.

A much better solution is to use XE.com to transfer the money. You can do all the paperwork and set up the account now (this takes a few days, so better to get the process started well in advance). You'll have instant visibility of the exchange rate that you'll get, no additional fees to pay at either end, and a simple domestic Canadian transaction from the point-of-view of your Canadian bank. The whole process takes about 3 days from initiating the transfer until the money is in your Swiss bank account.

The other advantage of this is that you can first transfer a *small* amount of money to make sure that everything works as intended. It's a little nerve-wracking to have your entire life savings lost somewhere in the international banking system (I speak from first-hand experience).

XE does nothing all day but move money back-and-forth internationally. They're specialists at it, and they do it very well.

A final solution would be to leave a signed wire order, without recipient account details, with your bank manager in Canada. Tell him/her that you'll give them the account details later (they'll probably insist on a fax - it's a very old-world system). This would also work if your bank manager is willing to take the draft, although this depends on how strong your relationship is with the bank.

If your bank isn't a specialist expat bank (like HSBC), I actually don't like this option too much. The banks don't have much experience moving money internationally, and there are too many things that can go wrong.

As I said before, I'd use a specialist broker like XE. It'll be the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to get your money over here.
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  #30  
Old 28.05.2013, 00:55
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

We had the exact same problem 6 months ago so not entirely true.

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Actually the bank tells me it was possible until about 1 month ago! But they have just recently tightened up everything, just our luck, should have moved two months ago and it would have been much easier.

EvenPar, my mom is in Switzerland, so she is trying to help me from that end.
Sounds like XE is the best solution though, getting onto that right now.
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  #31  
Old 28.05.2013, 03:15
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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Looked around the forum but can't find answers to this:
We are having an incredibly difficult time figuring out how to transfer our life savings and future pension payments to Switzerland....
Swisscanmom, there's an exact solution to your exact situation. Create an account with Interactive Brokers (i'm not affiliated with them in any way, except for having an account there myself), transfer your Canadian dollars there, convert at interbank rates (!), and then withdraw into your Swiss account in CHF. One withdrawal per month is free. IB has local accounts at major banks (they use RBC in Canada, not CanadaTrust). If we talk about say half a mil loonies then their commission would be in a ballpark of 6CAD. Now, to convert 500K CAD to CHF the CADCHF rates as of now are: 0.93189/0.93195. So if you want to buy swissies you sell CAD at 0.93189 per CHF and if you want to sell swissies you buy CAD at 0.93195. Let anyone throw a stone at me if they find better rates .

Canmom, this is an advanced advise so it does take abit of 'getting to know the world around you'. But after all, it's what you don't know does hurt you and why would you be ripped off by the banks... Over to you.
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  #32  
Old 28.05.2013, 03:20
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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Swisscanmom, there's an exact solution to your exact situation. Create an account with Interactive Brokers (i'm not affiliated with them in any way, except for having an account there myself), transfer your Canadian dollars there, convert at interbank rates (!), and then withdraw into your Swiss account in CHF. One withdrawal per month is free. IB has local accounts at major banks (they use RBC in Canada, not CanadaTrust). If we talk about say half a mil loonies then their commission would be in a ballpark of 6CAD. Now, to convert 500K CAD to CHF the CADCHF rates as of now are: 0.93189/0.93195. So if you want to buy swissies you sell CAD at 0.93189 per CHF and if you want to sell swissies you buy CAD at 0.93195. Let anyone throw a stone at me if they find better rates .

Canmom, this is an advanced advise so it does take abit of 'getting to know the world around you'. But after all, it's what you don't know does hurt you and why would you be ripped off by the banks... Over to you.
And by the way, IB's regional headquarters are in Zug, surprise surprise. I lived there and in Basel, am a Canadian/European/Australian of Russian/Jewish origin and am currently beating about the bush in Melbourne, AU, hehe.
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  #33  
Old 28.05.2013, 08:29
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

Can your mother be trusted? If so, have you considered sending the money in advance to her account, until such time as you are able to set up the Swiss account yourselves?

Otherwise, you have been given two very good suggestions (xe.com and IB)

I don 't understand why anyone would suggest that you need to be carrying large amounts of cash "to tide you over." I arrived here with no cash, but a couple of reliable at cards - that got me through apartment deposits, rent and the first month till I received my first salary. I had meanwhile been able to open a local bank account with a minimal deposit, to be able to get that fist month's salary.

The ATM fees are negilible in contrast to the potential loss of carrying large amounts of money whilst travelling.
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Old 28.05.2013, 08:58
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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You do realise anything under 3M CHF is small so it must be pretty big amount if you are saying large
What a useful comment.
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  #35  
Old 28.05.2013, 09:18
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

I realize there are less than 5 UBS locations in Canada, but if you happen to be near one that might also work. My OH opened a UBS account in the USA when he moved there from CH, and when it was time to move back the transfer was easy-peasy. He did also bring some cash, just to be on the safe side.
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  #36  
Old 28.05.2013, 15:22
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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We are having an incredibly difficult time figuring out how to transfer our life savings and future pension payments to Switzerland. We are making a permanent move, and will need the money to start our new life there.
I would just caution on one point--I know a lot of people that have come here saying it is a permanent move, only to reverse the whole process a year or two down the road. It can be harder than one thinks to uproot ones whole life, and no one knows what the future holds.

I would definitely caution about moving pension funds, as last I knew Canadian ones were incompatible with swiss ones, and the tax implications of taking it out early can be very costly. Also, I would caution about transferring a whole life savings as well. Take what you need to get started here, and have a bit of emergency money, but perhaps leave the rest in Canada until you are sure it is a permanent move a few years down the road.
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Old 28.05.2013, 15:53
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

Thanks running deer, I have never lived more than 6 years in one place my entire life, so I know all about uprooting. We are essentially "coming home" this time, all our family is in Switzerland or England (hubby's). Maybe I should have said "possibly" permanent, lol. If our kids ever return to Canada when they grow up, we may just follow, who knows.
We do know about the pension tax implications, and our rrsp's do have to stay here. But we have sold our home here and will be using those funds to start up our life in CH, hubby also has income from a RIF, that we need to transfer regularly.
We are also worried that if we don't close enough accounts we will be deemed to "not having severed residence status" per Revenue Canada and have to file returns in both places every year.
I think I have gotten good advice here from everyone, and I am glad I asked the question. Hopefully the answers will help others down the road, too. I have signed up with XE, and that looks to be the easiest solution at this point.
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  #38  
Old 28.05.2013, 15:53
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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If we talk about say half a mil loonies then their commission would be in a ballpark of 6CAD. Now, to convert 500K CAD to CHF the CADCHF rates as of now are: 0.93189/0.93195. So if you want to buy swissies you sell CAD at 0.93189 per CHF and if you want to sell swissies you buy CAD at 0.93195. Let anyone throw a stone at me if they find better rates .
What you're saying is not entirely true. Though IB is probably one of the best comission wise it's not as low as 6 CAD to exchange half a mil CAD.

What you're refering to is the spread cost but the commission is much more.
For CAD500k they charge 15 basis points / pips which would work out at around CAD1k. This is of course much much less than what XE.com and a lot of these retail conersion companies offer which is probably in the hundreds of basis points, so we're talking losing around CAD10k for the privilege!

Source: http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en...mmission&p=fx1
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  #39  
Old 28.05.2013, 16:09
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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EvenPar, my mom is in Switzerland, so she is trying to help me from that end.
Now there's an easy solution for you:

1. Transfer the money from Canada to your Mums Swiss account
2. Go to Switzerland, open a local Swiss account
3. Transfer from your Mums Swiss account to your own Swiss account

PS: the above assumes that you can trust your mother
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  #40  
Old 28.05.2013, 16:10
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Re: Transferring large sums from Canada?

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Look into HSBC as they will have a Canadian and a Swiss branch and they make it easy for you to open both in either country if you have large amounts of money.
Make sure it's large. If I recall what they told me a few years ago when I inquired, you need a net worth of at least a million to open an account with them. Sadly, I was a few dollars short. ;p
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