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Old 30.08.2019, 14:54
tooki tooki is offline
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Re: Banks that accept US citizens: postfinance-yes; migros-no; cler-no

So last week, I received the dreaded "we need to determine your 'US Person' status" letter from ZKB, so I began checking into alternative banks again, in case ZKB decided to give me the boot. (More on that later.)


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Sometime last year I inquired at Migros Bank and they told me that they do offer accounts to US Persons, but with an annual fee of 200 francs to cover the administrative burden.
Update: I called the Migros Bank general hotline, and the consultant said that while the final decision is up to the branch, that 200 francs didn't sound right, and suggested I go in and ask. (The branch that told me the 200 was the Limmatplatz one.) I went to the one on Seidengasse (their largest in Zurich), and they seemed shocked at 200 francs. They said that while opening the account takes longer due to additional compliance paperwork, the fees are the same as any other person living in CH. We speculated that perhaps Limmatplatz had misunderstood and thought I meant an American living outside of Switzerland.


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Try this bank: http://www.sparkasse-dielsdorf.ch/home

Been with em for a few years now.
So I actually did try, using their account application app, and based on my US Person status, it said I could not do it by app and would need to go in in person. So I called, and they told me that for US Persons, "as a community bank", they can only offer accounts to US Persons with a strong connection to Dielsdorf, such as living or working there. (In contrast, for people without US Person status, merely living in Switzerland would suffice.)




As for ZKB, I was headed downtown anyway, so I decided to pop into the ZKB headquarters and see a banker about it. It appears they no longer exclude Americans. There are a number of forms to fill out, especially the W-9, but it's nothing too onerous. By going in, and having the banker go through the process with the compliance people on the line, we were able to get all the forms done in one sitting, rather than a prolonged back-and-forth by mail.
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