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Old 24.02.2016, 21:45
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No-Go with PostFinance

After opening an account and receiving all my bank account numbers from post finance they just decided to not open the account for me. I was waiting for my debit card to come in the mail, instead i received a letter denying me an account because I'm a "US-Person".

Really wanted to have postfinince since their e-banking is in english. Don't think migros bank or coop bank offer english versions of their e-banking.

Any other recommendations? The fees in Credit Suisse are too high for my taste.
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Old 24.02.2016, 21:47
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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After opening an account and receiving all my bank account numbers from post finance they just decided to not open the account for me. I was waiting for my debit card to come in the mail, instead i received a letter denying me an account because I'm a "US-Person".

Really wanted to have postfinince since their e-banking is in english. Don't think migros bank or coop bank offer english versions of their e-banking.

Any other recommendations? The fees in Credit Suisse are too high for my taste.

Tried ZkB?
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Old 24.02.2016, 21:53
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

Thats the bank that my wife has ( she is swiss ) I want to stay away from her bank. Also she is not to happy with that bank.
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Old 24.02.2016, 21:53
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

UBS - we went with them years ago because documentation was in English.
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Old 24.02.2016, 21:59
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

Yea I'm thinking strongly of going with UBS the charge $10 a month when you have more than 10k with them and $15 if not. But to open an account I can't do it in the local office. I have to go to Zurch paradeplatz location where they specialize in Americans .
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:09
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

Wait...wasn't PostFinance obliged to open accounts for anyone (US person or not) residing in Switzerland? I had gotten that impression from other posts/experiences on EF. It would appear not, from this thread.

I'd like to know because I've been telling many US colleagues moving temporarily or long-term to CH that they'd have to inquire with various banks (I used to bank with UBS-main office in Zurich, but I know others have had issues), but that generally they'd be fine with the Post...
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:11
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

Yes thats what I've been reading, that everyone seems to have an account with post finance. Not really sure why they decided to pick on me ?
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:13
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

The letter says that :

US-Persons may only have an account with PostFinance when they are Swiss Citizens or have a long lasting resident status in Switzerland.
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:20
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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The letter says that :

US-Persons may only have an account with PostFinance when they are Swiss Citizens or have a long lasting resident status in Switzerland.
@Ocean8:
Sorry to hear of your bank account denial by Postfinance.

PostFinance has a "public service" charter which normally requires it to open an account for anyone with a relationship to Switzerland. The quote from the letter seems to suggest that a US Person must have a C (or possibly a B) permit. To help understand the situation, would you be willing to advise which permit you have?

Also, what kind of bank accounts were you trying to open? Current? Savings? Investment??

Thanks
Mullhollander
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:24
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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The letter says that :

US-Persons may only have an account with PostFinance when they are Swiss Citizens or have a long lasting resident status in Switzerland.
One would think that being married to a Swiss person would be good enough surely?
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:25
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

Sure, Np i am Swiss Resident with B-Permit. They even made copies of my card. Hmmmm maybe i should call them tomorrow to see whats going on. The denial letter came in with the name of the compliance office that denied my account.
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:26
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

Ohh i was just trying to open a basic Current account. Nothing Special.
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:30
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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@Ocean8:
Sorry to hear of your bank account denial by Postfinance.

PostFinance has a "public service" charter which normally requires it to open an account for anyone with a relationship to Switzerland. The quote from the letter seems to suggest that a US Person must have a C (or possibly a B) permit. To help understand the situation, would you be willing to advise which permit you have?

Also, what kind of bank accounts were you trying to open? Current? Savings? Investment??

Thanks
Mullhollander




"PostFinance has a "public service" charter which normally requires it to open an account for anyone with a relationship to Switzerland."

Where did you hear about this ? Is there a place where this is written in their advertising efforts so i can discuss tomorrow with the bank ?
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:35
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

So, it could then be deduced that a C permit is now needed to open a bank account with Postfinance. This is bad news.

In December the US Dept of Justice fined Postfinance $2 million for not being able to demonstrate that all US Persons, who had or had had accounts with it, had properly declared their accounts to the IRS. According to this article, Postfinance combed through 3 million accounts and found two US Person accounts that had unallowed transactions. This might be blowback from that:

http://www.nzz.ch/wirtschaft/wirtsch...nce-1.18669834
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:37
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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Wait...wasn't PostFinance obliged to open accounts for anyone (US person or not) residing in Switzerland? I had gotten that impression from other posts/experiences on EF. It would appear not, from this thread.

I'd like to know because I've been telling many US colleagues moving temporarily or long-term to CH that they'd have to inquire with various banks (I used to bank with UBS-main office in Zurich, but I know others have had issues), but that generally they'd be fine with the Post...
Postfinance have since also had to do battle with our charming friends from the IRS. I can't remember which category bank they chose to become but it seems the headaches tied to dealing with US persons are not compatible with their business model.
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:40
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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One would think that being married to a Swiss person would be good enough surely?
Apparently having missed the fact that an account holder was born in the US but neither lived there nor has citizenship has been enough for the IRS to kick up a fuss. It's insane.
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:47
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

PostFinance's General Terms and Conditions are attached. Paragraph 23.b mentions public service and under which conditions public service can be restricted:

https://www.postfinance.ch/binp/post..._gtc_sc_en.pdf

Attached is a link to a GenevaLunch article that discusses public service regarding US citizens residing in Switzerland:

"(PostFinance) will still fulfill its public service function as a national bank that is obliged to offer an account to any Swiss citizen including those living abroad and any resident of Switzerland.
Despite the changes, a PostFinance spokesperson told GenevaLunch, the bank will continue to offer bank accounts to US citizens who are resident in Switzerland."

https://genevalunch.com/2012/11/01/p...vate-accounts/

I agree with your plan to follow up with PostFinance to better understand why your account application was rejected. Would you be willing to let us know what the compliance person says? Thanks.

Added:
The PostFinance is required under law to provide "Grundversorgung beim Zahlungsverkehr" as follows:

"Der Bundesrat hat festgelegt, dass die Grundversorgung für natürliche und juristische Personen mit Wohnsitz, Sitz oder Niederlassung in der Schweiz mindestens ein Angebot für folgende inländische Dienstleistungen des Zahlungsverkehrs in Schweizer Franken umfasst:
  • Eröffnen und Führen eines Zahlungsverkehrskontos
  • Überweisung vom eigenen Konto auf das Konto eines Dritten
  • Bareinzahlung auf das eigene Konto
  • Bargeldbezug vom eigenen Konto
  • Überweisung von Bargeld auf das Konto eines Dritten"
Summary of underlined lines: The Federal Council (Bundesrat) determined that the PostFinance must offer as a basic service for residents of Switzerland at least the opening and maintenance of a current account and the other payment services listed in the bullets.

http://www.bakom.admin.ch/themen/040...x.html?lang=de

My reading is that, although PostFinance is to make basic current accounts available to anyone resident in Switzerland, it can deny an account to those it considers to be of risk under its General Terms and Conditions, paragraph 23.b. Does this now include US Persons resident in Switzerland?

Last edited by Mullhollander; 24.02.2016 at 23:22.
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Old 24.02.2016, 22:51
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

Wow Thanks Mullhollander,

That info that you just provided is GOLD and key. I will def let you all know about what happens when i call tomorrow.

Thank you !!!!!
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Old 24.02.2016, 23:34
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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Postfinance have since also had to do battle with our charming friends from the IRS. I can't remember which category bank they chose to become but it seems the headaches tied to dealing with US persons are not compatible with their business model.
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Apparently having missed the fact that an account holder was born in the US but neither lived there nor has citizenship has been enough for the IRS to kick up a fuss. It's insane.
That IS insane, and awful! Will keep it in mind for future reference/advice to people who ask.

I used to bank with UBS and never had (or have) any issues, but I hear everything and anything under the sun from different people. I closed all my accounts with them about a year after leaving CH, but I keep the Pillar 2 account. I fully informed them of my US-person-ness and the only limitation they gave me is that I can only keep the Pillar 2 as a savings account instead of investing the money, which is fine with me. Of course I declare this account and all associated income as needed to the IRS.

I know I could retrieve the money and invest it in the US for a higher interest rate, but I like to keep some eggs in the CH basket since they let me. You know, we might get Trump as president and go bust over here
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Old 24.02.2016, 23:35
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Re: No-Go with PostFinance

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Apparently having missed the fact that an account holder was born in the US but neither lived there nor has citizenship has been enough for the IRS to kick up a fuss. It's insane.
I'm not sure I understand. Someone born in the US is a citizen at birth. It doesn't matter if they never spent any time there, it doesn't matter if they don't bother to apply for a passport. A citizen can choose to give up their citizenship, but it is an action which they must actively take, and somewhat of a PIA to have this recognized.

Not saying it isn't insane, but it does nobody any favors to call somebody a non-citizen when the US nationality law says that they are.

Or did the person in question give up their US citizenship?
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