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View Poll Results: Who do you bank with?
UBS 50 49.50%
Credit Suisse 24 23.76%
Zürich Kantonal 12 11.88%
MigrosBank 3 2.97%
Die Post 14 13.86%
Other 18 17.82%
Consumer banking is for masses 3 2.97%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 22.08.2006, 13:56
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Consumer banking in Switzerland.

What do you all think about your bank? Just today I closed up my UBS account, which completes my switch to Credit Suisse. (Long story short: UBS wronged me. A poorly timed error cost me time and money. So I moved my accounts.) Over a beer, more than one friend has said something like ‘they are all the same’ or such. But, I am wondering what you all think? Maybe I’ll switch again, maybe someone new to CH will find this valuable.

Let the voting begin!
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  #2  
Old 22.08.2006, 13:58
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

I would also be soon moving to CH. So it would be better for me to know which is the best bank ? Any ideas ?
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  #3  
Old 22.08.2006, 14:24
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

I'm with UBS 'coz I worked at Opfikon.

I'm still with them through inertia and getting English language stuff and the fact CS is most likely just as average.

And teh fact I have an L permit means other choices (PostFinance) are limited.
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Old 22.08.2006, 14:30
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

I haven't had any problems with CS so far. It was a pretty arbitary decision between them and UBS. Neither has very good interest rates on current accounts and you have to keep a decent amount of money in your account not to get hit with the monthly charge.

As far as I am conerned, I get what I need, decent online banking (when you get used to it), info in English and access to cash through ATMs. The one thing that does bug me is that I had to get a credit card (more annual fees) for online purchases as the standard maesto card doesn't have the 16 digit number needed.
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  #5  
Old 22.08.2006, 14:32
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Interesting point: a high net-worth customer in France (friend of the missus) says his BSD (Big Swinging D--k) friends choose UBS over all other banks for their Swiss bank accounts. From what I understand, these high-rollers get the red carpet treatment.

Of course, that's not strictly "consumer" banking

With a mortgage, I get free banking. I think they're making enough from me anyway But service is good, IMO. I've not been wronged.
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Old 22.08.2006, 14:44
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Quote:
What do you all think about your bank? Just today I closed up my UBS account, which completes my switch to Credit Suisse. (Long story short: UBS wronged me. A poorly timed error cost me time and money. So I moved my accounts.) Over a beer, more than one friend has said something like ‘they are all the same’ or such. But, I am wondering what you all think? Maybe I’ll switch again, maybe someone new to CH will find this valuable.

Let the voting begin!
I have accounts with both(!) but I'll shortly be closing the UBS one and transferring all the dosh to the CS.

CS have great online banking facilities and have always been really helpful whenever there are problems. I haven't bothered much with the UBS one, it was compulsory so I had to take it, but I can't report any problems with it.

No problems with either bank transacting in English (through written correspondance or on the phone), though in smaller branches you might not find someone who can speak English.

UBS _seem_ to have more ATM machines located in convenient places but that could be a localised phenomenon.

Basically, go for the one that offers you the best deal (and consider all the banks, not just the big two). There are ridiculous charges here unless you have really large amounts of residual cash in your account. Maybe you can play them off against each other.

Gav
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  #7  
Old 22.08.2006, 14:58
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

With UBS, the amount in a Pillar 3a counts towards your 10K CHF limit for "free" banking.

It doesn't have to be all cash at zero-point-bugg*r-all % interest...

Which may be useful to some people...
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  #8  
Old 22.08.2006, 20:01
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

I must say that all in all banking is one of the things that I think Switzerland excels at (anyone who spends some time in complaints corner knows that I'm giving a compliment here).

I've been disappointed when dealing with banks in pretty much any English-speaking country you care to mention - especially when it comes to things like foreign currency transactions (i.e. rip-off). I know banking isn't cheap here and it is not without its problems, but on the whole I find it a very positive experience.

I've been with CS since I got here and its generally been trouble free. At least they had great internet banking years ago and issued an electronic secureID card from the start (unlike ZKB and the paper cross-off list), and they always understood what an IBAN number was, even for domestic transfers (again, unlike ZKB which up until recently seemed to absolutely clueless about what an IBAN was - ditto for the Post). But even though I might find a paper cross-off list primitive many banks in other countries have ABSOLUTELY NO FORM of two-factor authentication for their internet banking customers at all - or they charge them for the additional security which should be the banks problem in the first place.

And at least Switzerland doesn't entertain the idea of banking with cheques which gives them about a million bonus points in my mind! When I go to visit people in other countries I feel like I'm stepping back into the banking past. I remember an American friend telling me about how she used Yahoo's bill pay service. She said that if she pays online they actually print out a cheque and send it through the post to the other person. Once in the banking system the cheque gets sent back and forth in "normal" cheque processing before the amount is finally transferred electronically. She was almost embarassed to tell me - and so she should have been

So top marks to consumer banking in Switzerland.
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  #9  
Old 22.08.2006, 20:56
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

I think Swiss internet banking is actually behind Australia, and Australia is behind the Netherlands. Some things here are still really old fashioned as well.

For example, if you regularly make payments to the same person, but the amount is unpredictable every time, and you must thus manually enter it, there is no address book that preserves that person's info. This is with UBS, and from memory Postfinance does not have this either.

I find this extremely annoying as you have to enter this very long IBAN and the other details every time, but overseas banks have had this facility for years.

Otherwise, take the bank that fits your income, the Swiss say. I would say UBS is for mid to high range incomes, Postfinance for mid-range, and COOP and Migros banking for people who do not have constant cash up to 10k in their account. Apparently the service also mirrors your bank balance with Swiss banks. But correct me if this impression is not correct. It does fit my own impressions so far though.

The same applies tot permits, the better your permit, the nicer they will treat you (L, B, C and passport in order of increasing smiles).

Oh, for people outside CH, if you see the words private banking, this means, do not bother asking until you have a 7 figure amount to store with the bank. If you do, you get a private banker, but then you probably would never be reading this thread anyway...
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  #10  
Old 22.08.2006, 21:04
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Muze - UBSPay
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  #11  
Old 22.08.2006, 21:17
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

When we lived in Zurich, we used ZKB. After moving to Basel, we tried BKB. We were not at all impressed with them - and still aren't. I use the Post for everything now, and only keep the BKB account in the event I receive a check from the US. Of course, the last check we deposited at BKB took four months to clear...but at least they heard of checks. The Post didn't have a clue what my (Swiss) husband brought to their window to be deposited when we had a check.

I've been really happy with the Post, except for a credit card. Because I have a B permit, they wanted me to deposit 5k in order to issue a credit card. Needless to say, I'm still MasterCard/Visa-less.

Speaking of which, can someone suggest a B permit friendly bank that issues MC/Visa? I need to get one in my name so I can rent a car the next time I go to the States.
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  #12  
Old 22.08.2006, 21:53
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

EvilShell - UBS gave me a card one on a "L"...
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  #13  
Old 22.08.2006, 23:10
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Actually, if anything will eventually get me to close my UBS account, it is the fact that their credit cards seemed to be issued by a sub-division. Therefore, real-time transfer of funds from a UBS statement account to a UBS credit card is not possible, and takes between 48-72 hours to be effective. In addition, the transaction date of the credit payment is about 4 working days later, even if it is was made electronically via UBS banking. Of course, the debits are always backdated to the day the transaction was made. Very convenient.
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Old 22.08.2006, 23:37
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

litespeed, I disagree; I pay my UBS Card Center bills on the day they're due and the payment is effective on execution date. They bill me via Paynet (which is excellent btw). No problems there.

I think the idea of "outsourcing" the card center is to use a different legal entity and also get rid of some KYC/conflict of issues problems that they might have?
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Old 22.08.2006, 23:46
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Looks like UBS is out for me:

Products and services in these webpages are not available for US persons, for the exclusion of residents of other nations see the disclaimers relating to the actual services.

(from the bottom of their website)

It probably means residents of the US, but I don't want to apply only to be told no because of something like this. A no on your record doesn't look good!
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Old 22.08.2006, 23:53
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Quote:
litespeed, I disagree; I pay my UBS Card Center bills on the day they're due and the payment is effective on execution date. They bill me via Paynet (which is excellent btw). No problems there.
Okay, Paynet might be the key. I am just using the virtual Orange payment slip.

But even my Australian bank allows for real-time transfer of funds from statement to credit card (ie the funds are available on the CC at time of transfer). That doesn't appear to be the case here.
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Old 22.08.2006, 23:56
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Quote:
Looks like UBS is out for me:

Products and services in these webpages are not available for US persons, for the exclusion of residents of other nations see the disclaimers relating to the actual services.

(from the bottom of their website)

It probably means residents of the US, but I don't want to apply only to be told no because of something like this. A no on your record doesn't look good!
Back in the good old days anyone had the freedom to visit Switzerland or phone them up about banking services. That's because Switzerland had iron clad banking secrecy. But then a big bully came along and explained to it that if its banks wanted to do any banking in the bully's own territory there would have to be certain concessions. Switzerland resisted for a long time, but in the end it had little choice - it had to promise to offer different services and different information to different people, depending on the country they came from. It also had to release certain information about citizens of a certain country to something called the... umm.. IRS.

So that's why when you go to the website of a Swiss bank you are asked what your country of residence is - depending on the answer, you see a totally different "face" to the bank.

Don't worry Evilshell - I'm sure it's for your own good, keeping you safe and all that...
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Old 22.08.2006, 23:56
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Shell, they have banking services for US [-resident] customers in the US; certainly my Septic F-i-L banks at UBS without problems.
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Old 23.08.2006, 00:46
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Quote:
Looks like UBS is out for me:

Products and services in these webpages are not available for US persons, for the exclusion of residents of other nations see the disclaimers relating to the actual services.

(from the bottom of their website)

It probably means residents of the US, but I don't want to apply only to be told no because of something like this. A no on your record doesn't look good!
I signed up with them four years ago, no problemo. US cit, CH rez. I think 'US persons' is very much describing residents. Show up in person. Mark's background statement is consistant with what I have heard.

I also moved my plastic over from UBS to CS. The UBS accounts more closely coupled than CS, IMHO. But just barely. E.g.: one can view their charges in near real time with UBS, although it is clunky and clearly two different systems. Also, my CS plastic does not support PayNet.

eBanking: I love eBanking here in CH. So much better than my US bank (Bank of Hawaii, 3 out of 10) and UK bank (the evil HSBC, 1/10.) UBS 8/10. CS 10/10. Secure, powerful, and easy to use.

If anyone wants to see their bank in the poll then just hollar...a mod can add it.
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  #20  
Old 23.08.2006, 01:51
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Re: Consumer banking in Switzerland.

Stuinzuiri, why did you move your plastic to CS then? What was your perceived advantage?

Litespeed and others, why not sign up for automatic debits, so your UBS card gets paid straight away every month? I mean if you intend to always pay it in full, you might just as well automate it?

Evilshell, you can get the free cc's without a deposit.

Here is a list:
  • Coop Supercardplus, free, 2.5% commission on foreign purchases; B permit holders need to provide copy of registration in your gemeinde (council) which can cost you (20chf in Bern). Someone already received their card so they are available now.
  • Migros, free, 2% commission, do not know about rules yet, won't be available until November, I do not know about B permit holders yet. Ok, this seems fine. The Migros card allows you to collect points for every franc you spend anywhere. 1 for 1 in Migros and 1 point for two francs elsewhere. If I remember correctly, you thus get 0.5% of expenditure outside Migros back, so put this against the 2% you pay on foreign transactions and you have 1.5% left. Then again, you do not get perks like insurance with this card.
  • Jelmoli, free if you buy 300CHF worth of purchases per year, 2% commission, no gemeinde documentation needed, ok for B Permit holders, won't be available until autumn 2006
  • UBS: 50 CHF the first year, and between 0.3-1.0% foreign commission. Ok for B permit holders, but you may need a reasonable salary....
    Note on UBS: I thought I had seen a poster about the Alinghi card being free the first year but I cannot find anything on the UBS web site. Anyone know about this?

PS. Info is gleamed from various sources including posts from the Praise Be coop thread.

Colors had a good tip too: http://www.comparis.ch/kreditkarten/...spx?origin=nav
where you can compare different cards here in Switzerland.

Last edited by muze7; 06.09.2006 at 21:10.
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