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Old 14.10.2017, 11:32
Tox_Rat Tox_Rat is offline
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Re: Banks that accept US citizens: postfinance-yes; migros-no; cler-no

That list is inaccurate now and it was misleading when it was issued in 2016. I know for a fact that Banque Cantonale Vaudoise will not accept new accounts for American persons of "normal" means. The question is more complicated than just the "do you have banking products for Americans" that the survey implies.

Firstly, whether the banking relationship is new or goes back to before FATCA matters. Some banks don't accept accounts from new American persons, but have found a way to allow the business of those with accounts pre-FATCA to continue. Others (like Raffeisen, if I remember correctly) closed the accounts of their American clients.

Secondly, the value of your business matters; some banks are open to American persons, but only after a certain threshold of business is reached (like CHF 1M). This more honest than it first sounds: as an American you require a lot more compliance work and only accounts over a certain level create enough business to cover the costs of that compliance work.

OP, my possibly out-of-date (2014) understanding is that Americans of normal means trying to establish new accounts in Switzerland have their choice of Credit Suisse and UBS (part of the settlement with the US authorities), as well as Post Bank (by law). And that is pretty much it. My experience with the retail representatives in most branches is that they don't really know what the policy of their bank is towards Americans until they try to establish the accounts. They may not even know that there is a difference in policy. So asking may not really get you accurate information. That being said, I was recently surprised by the PostBank representative knowing exactly what to do, so with time, things may be improving on that front somewhat.
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