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Old 16.07.2011, 18:47
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Bank account for CHF wages

Hi, I'm new here and this is my first post. I've been Googling around to find some answers to some questions and I came across links to this forum quite a few times so I thought I'd try my luck and ask my questions here.

I am starting a job with a Swiss employer in September and I will be paid in CHF. I will not however, be working or living in Switzerland. I've given up on the idea of having my wages paid into a UK bank account without being completely ripped off, so now I'm looking at opening a bank account in Switzerland to have my wages paid into. My employer informs me that due to the nature of my work, my non-residence shouldn't be a problem in opening a Swiss account.

Ideally, I'd like to open a CHF account which will not charge me a fee for making transactions in GBP (on the internet, paying by debit card in the UK etc.), but I have a feeling that such an account may not exist.

In the event that such an account doesn't exist, could anybody recommend me some combination of bank accounts and services to use in order to reliably transfer roughly 5000CHF every month from a CHF account to a GBP account without paying through the nose in terms of fees and commissions?

Thanks in advance
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Old 16.07.2011, 18:59
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

Postfinance should let you open an account without being resident.

They charge 2 CHF to transfer money to a UK bank account. Might even be free if your bank uses SEPA (I bank with the Nationwide, which doesn't). However, the exchange rate might not be a good one. For regular, relatively small volume transactions, I think this is the easiest way.
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Old 16.07.2011, 18:59
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

Normally to open a bank account you need to be present so you may need to come to Switzerland.

Because you have a Swiss Employer you will have a work contract. To me the problem is you will need a work permit right?

UBS is doing a campaign (package free for one year).

If your bank is SEPA each transfer costs you 0,30 franc.
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Old 16.07.2011, 19:06
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

Not sure about work permits. I assume this is freelance work, otherwise it'll get messy anyway as they'll need to pay UK tax on the income (the difference between the UK and Swiss rates only though), which is probably already taxed in Switzerland.
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Old 16.07.2011, 19:12
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

Ooops, I should have said that I will be in Switzerland (Geneva) at the beginning of September for a mission briefing before I leave on assignment- This is when I plan to open an account. The job I'm starting is with an international organisation and it is tax-free.

Superfast: I don't require a work permit as I won't be working in Switzerland but in an Asian country. My employer has also mentioned UBS to me, but after reading some of the threads on this forum it doesn't seem like people have particularly nice things to say about them... Do you have a link to the UBS campaign you mentioned? (It can be in English or French)

adrianlondon: Would this be with the PostFinance "Private account in CHF"? And is that 2CHF a flat rate? It seems worth checking out.

Can anybody offer any more info with regards to the exchange rate at PostFinance?

Also, do both UBS and PF charge fees for transactions in non-CHF currencies?
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Old 16.07.2011, 23:03
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

I have to achieve the same also going to Asia.

From the other posts it seems that it's not guaranteed that one will be approved for account if non-resident and without work permit.

For example I tried over the phone, they told me there should be some relation to Switzerland otherwise they cannot provide me account.

Now, I submitted online form based on which they will send me papers, but the round trip of this paper can take too much time specially to where I'm currently located.

So now I'm thinking, anyway I'll need to come for them to take copy of my passport, why not apply locally and skip the round trip of papers.

Now few questions:
- Now, is there anyone who can advise how the procedure goes when applying in any of the branches?
- If they fill application, is it guaranteed that I'll be approved?
- How did it take to receive the card and anything required for internet banking?

BTW, the Plus set seems to be very convenient by saving all taxes to when withdrawing money abroad.
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Old 16.07.2011, 23:21
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

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job I'm starting is with an international organisation and it is tax-free.
A great deal depends on if you have been a UK tax payer born in the UK (or your father was), to get out of the UK tax system you have to break ties with the UK & be away for at least a full tax year.
Just being away does not satisify the UK revenue that you have 'left' the UK.

The cheapest Postfinance accounts are online accounts.
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Old 16.07.2011, 23:25
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

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A great deal depends on if you have been a UK tax payer born in the UK (or your father was), to get out of the UK tax system you have to break ties with the UK & be away for at least a full tax year.
Just being away does not satisify the UK revenue that you have 'left' the UK.

The cheapest Postfinance accounts are online accounts.
If the work is for the UN, or another approved international body of that ilk, then the salary is tax free. Everywhere. I think.

Last edited by adrianlondon; 16.07.2011 at 23:36. Reason: Added two more words at the end ;)
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Old 17.07.2011, 11:11
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Re: Bank account for CHF wages

adrianlondon is right, I'll be working for an approved international body with tax free status.

I take it that bank accounts with monthly fees are the norm over in CH?

Can anyone recommend a UK bank account uses SEPA which could be used to transfer money to from a PF account?
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