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Old 28.05.2008, 13:43
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Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

Situation: Been in Zurich from 2004 onwards. Had an acccount with UBS which acted as salary account too. Applied and got Credit Card from same bank a year back ..Married and my wife joined me in Zurich.

Simple problem: Would like to make the solo bank account a joint holding account with my wife

I casually called up my Bank advisor to know what documents do we have to bring to make that account joint account with both our names. To my utter surprise, he mentioned that such an action is not possible, but he gave me two options.
i) Give power of attorney to my wife for that account
ii) Open up UBS family account, additionally where we both could be together.

Though it sounded like a marketing gimmick to try and sell Family pack to us, but again, its seldom done like that in Switzerland. So I am confused.

Now, where I am from, you just have to go with the other person whom you want to have the joint account with, with couple of pictures and few documents and "Bobs your uncle"! But here it seemed complete different ball game.

My question:
Did someone else want exactly what I want?
If yes, then was he/she successful?

I mean, isnt there a way to just add another person to the existing account, which is much more easy for the customer, than to reapply for another account, set up everything fresh, another credit card etc ...

Also, if someone knows, does Post Account also have same rules?
(I intended to make it joint too!)

Last edited by BenderRules; 28.05.2008 at 13:44. Reason: clarify
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Old 28.05.2008, 14:04
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

Hello,

I had a similar need (joint account with my GF), we ended up taking their family offer, which, as far as I can remember, roughly costs the same as what I was paying before for my account.

Regards,
Alain
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Old 28.05.2008, 14:19
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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Situation: Been in Zurich from 2004 onwards. Had an acccount with UBS which acted as salary account too. Applied and got Credit Card from same bank a year back ..Married and my wife joined me in Zurich.

Simple problem: Would like to make the solo bank account a joint holding account with my wife

I casually called up my Bank advisor to know what documents do we have to bring to make that account joint account with both our names. To my utter surprise, he mentioned that such an action is not possible, but he gave me two options.
i) Give power of attorney to my wife for that account
ii) Open up UBS family account, additionally where we both could be together.

Though it sounded like a marketing gimmick to try and sell Family pack to us, but again, its seldom done like that in Switzerland. So I am confused.

Now, where I am from, you just have to go with the other person whom you want to have the joint account with, with couple of pictures and few documents and "Bobs your uncle"! But here it seemed complete different ball game.

My question:
Did someone else want exactly what I want?
If yes, then was he/she successful?

I mean, isnt there a way to just add another person to the existing account, which is much more easy for the customer, than to reapply for another account, set up everything fresh, another credit card etc ...

Also, if someone knows, does Post Account also have same rules?
(I intended to make it joint too!)
funnily enough .....

asked UBS about this last week, same answer so went around the corner with Mrs P & opened a joint account with Post in 10 minutes. While I was there, also decided that enough was enough with UBS & opened a personal account there ... bye bye UBS.
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Old 28.05.2008, 14:31
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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Hello,

...taking their family offer, which, as far as I can remember, roughly costs the same as what I was paying before for my account.

Regards,
Alain
Agreed ... but now either I pay double (since I will be maintaining two account with UBS)
or else
Transfer everything to this family pack .. but hey, bank balance less than 10k also attracts deductions every month ( I dont want this to be one of the reasons I wish I had more money ) .. so I have to close the former
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Old 28.05.2008, 16:11
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

I had the same situation. UBS refused to make our two accounts joined (or make one account joint I mean), and the family pack sucks if you do not need two credit cards, then it is expensive.

So we both left UBS, and went to PostFinance. They do normal joint accounts, and you can have one account each to yourself as well, and if you want to, add power of attorney to those, so one of you can deal with all accounts online in one go. Very handy if usually one of you pays the bills, as you can choose between all the accounts then, or transfer instantly between accounts etc.

The only thing PostFinance did not offer us is an account for the rental deposit. So our mietzinskonto stays with UBS, but it does not attract fees by the way. (They also offer accounts in other currencies, e.g. Euro, which is free if over >7500 CHF a month on average (not each day >10k as with UBS), and in other currencies like AUD for 2 CHF per month).
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Old 08.05.2014, 00:50
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

So did things change in 2014?

Similar case.We both have accounts with UBS (but i've never used mine so far). So we wanted to have a joint account. Actually main reason why we need it - we received a money present for our wedding - in $$$. And hubby, being a fair Swiss, declared we need to put it in an account we both have access to. Now, reading all this, i am thinking it will be painful. Shall we just open one more $ account with POA? Or did something change and this Family package is a must-have nowadays?
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Old 08.05.2014, 00:57
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

For an ordinary salaried person the Post Finance is the best. I gave up on UBS 10 years ago, and have never missed them, apart from their high fees of course!
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Old 08.05.2014, 07:30
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

When we arrived a year ago my husband got the account in his name. We did a very simple power of attorney on the account (right at the bank, just another piece of paper to sign) so I could use it. We both received credit cards in our own names and Maestro cards. It was simple and worked perfectly.

I recently started a part time job and so we went wanting to add my name so payroll checks could be deposited. That's the reason it's kept separate I guess. It was no problem, we added me to the same account but with my own savings I believe. No cards attached to it but my paycheck can be deposited and we can transfer money from it if we need to. (I make such a small amount we are just using it to save.)
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Old 08.05.2014, 07:31
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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So did things change in 2014?

Similar case.We both have accounts with UBS (but i've never used mine so far). So we wanted to have a joint account. Actually main reason why we need it - we received a money present for our wedding - in $$$. And hubby, being a fair Swiss, declared we need to put it in an account we both have access to. Now, reading all this, i am thinking it will be painful. Shall we just open one more $ account with POA? Or did something change and this Family package is a must-have nowadays?
Experienced this in 2006 so its nothing new, pretty normal not to be able to create a joint account. More normal for a single account with power of attorney access pernitted in majority of banks here.
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Old 08.05.2014, 07:47
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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I gave up on UBS 10 years ago, and have never missed them, apart from their high fees of course!
There are no fees at UBS if you have enough in the combined total of your accounts.

But I still don't get this need to have joint accounts.

Tom
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Old 08.05.2014, 07:50
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

A power of attorney does not offer the same protection as a joint account in the case of the death of one partner. In a "complex" family situation, remaining relatives could request the cancelation of a power of attorney, for instance, to prevent the "squandering" of their inheritance or other such noble reasons.
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Old 08.05.2014, 07:56
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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A power of attorney does not offer the same protection as a joint account in the case of the death of one partner. In a "complex" family situation, remaining relatives could request the cancelation of a power of attorney, for instance, to prevent the "squandering" of their inheritance or other such noble reasons.
A POA in CH can continue after death in any case. I agree with Tom, I would never have a joint account or a joint contract of any type ever.
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Old 08.05.2014, 08:04
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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A power of attorney does not offer the same protection as a joint account in the case of the death of one partner. In a "complex" family situation, remaining relatives could request the cancelation of a power of attorney, for instance, to prevent the "squandering" of their inheritance or other such noble reasons.
A joint account can also be blocked in case of death of one of the account holders.

Tom
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Old 08.05.2014, 08:08
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

Power of attorney worked well for us, but we got moved over to the Family & Couple thing when we got our mortgage.

Cheesecake, if you're American, I'd be wary of having a joint account or power of attorney on any of your husband's accounts. If it/they goes over the CHF10,000 aggregate figure at any point in the year you'd need to file an FBAR form as part of your US tax filing obligations.
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Old 08.05.2014, 08:18
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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A joint account can also be blocked in case of death of one of the account holders.

Tom
Advice we had is thats its not "can" but "will" be blocked hence why a joint account offers no advantage and probably less in event of death
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Old 08.05.2014, 09:00
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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Advice we had is thats its not "can" but "will" be blocked hence why a joint account offers no advantage and probably less in event of death
So a POA that specifically stares it will continue after death would seem to be a better option, or just don't tell the bank that the account holder has died. I can see the advantage of numbered accounts, no name so less hassle but extra charges.
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Old 08.05.2014, 11:22
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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So did things change in 2014?

Similar case.We both have accounts with UBS (but i've never used mine so far). So we wanted to have a joint account. Actually main reason why we need it - we received a money present for our wedding - in $$$. And hubby, being a fair Swiss, declared we need to put it in an account we both have access to. Now, reading all this, i am thinking it will be painful. Shall we just open one more $ account with POA? Or did something change and this Family package is a must-have nowadays?
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When we arrived a year ago my husband got the account in his name. We did a very simple power of attorney on the account (right at the bank, just another piece of paper to sign)
Quote:
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Advice we had is thats its not "can" but "will" be blocked hence why a joint account offers no advantage and probably less in event of death
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So a POA that specifically stares it will continue after death would seem to be a better option, or just don't tell the bank that the account holder has died. I can see the advantage of numbered accounts, no name so less hassle but extra charges.
- Your main worry should be that IF you are american and your husband is swiss: then having anything jointly (even power of attorney on an account) it means that HE (the Swiss) must start sending FBAR forms to the IRS or he may face penalties (incl IRS fines a % of the account balance!). For this reason most people in your case, they go out of their way to ensure their financial affairs are totally seperate.

- Opening a joint account is possible, but one cannot simply "add a name to the account". A new account will be opened with a different number, and the old one closed if desired.

- UBS charge per customer. So if you are adding a new person then they will want to receive 2x the montly charges. Which is why the "family" package is cheaper (1.5x the monthly charges). But if both people are already UBS customers (so already paying monthy fees seperately) the joint account is free.


- If you dont want a joint account, but one person to be able to access the other's account, you have 2 options:

-- fill in a mandate at the bank. This is not a power of attorney in the legal aspect, but an authorization to the bank so that they accept instructions from the other person. It's free, but it only works for instructions to the bank in persion. I.e., they won't create an online ebanking for the other person (unless of course the other person is already a customer on their own). Also if the account holder dies, it is automatically canceled.

-- do a proper power of attorney. Generally you have to go to a notary, and pay. There are various levels of power of attorney, some continuing after death. The poa are more general, ie wider than banking, so need to be careful. But even if you have a poa which continues after death, if the bank account owner dies you cannot use it as the account is closed. So basically, the poa continues after death, but the bank account doesn't. They will close the account, the poa doesn't prevent this.

- If you have a joint account and one dies, the bank will remove the name and the account continues with the remaining names. (It will be "blocked" in the sense that you must visit the bank and remove the name of the deceased, once the bank finds out that is, but then it will get "unblocked" as soon as you do that.) The only advantage is that the account number doesn't have to change, if that's important.

- Note that probably none of the solutions above (not even a joint account) protects you from inheritance fights - in all situations the bank can block or restrict access until it is determined who should get the money. Some options make it easier for you to "take" the money, but just because the bank allowed you to access the $, doesn't mean it's legally yours.

- Named accounts don't offer any advantage for personal or joint accounts in the event of death. They are not "nameless", just that the name is hidden and only the branch manager can see it.

Last edited by slingb; 08.05.2014 at 11:37.
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Old 08.05.2014, 11:47
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

Thanks, guys!

No, i am not American. I thought being Russian is tough enough, but at least i don't need to declare whatever i earn in other countries. However, with situation right now i am not sure what happens next

When i moved here abt 2 years ago, i have opened an account at UBS Zug branch. There was a special offer (they celebrated 150 years) and i got 2 accounts for free (as far as i remember). I've never used one (i was sent here on a project, while employed by other subsidiary and they refused to transfer my salary to bank acct in CH). I have recently called UBS and found out my account is still open with 0 balance. So i am not sure what kind of client I am for them; maybe for joint acct they demand some payment?

We don't really need to access each other bank account...and i hope i finally get a job here so there is even less of a reason We thought since we got money present and it's for us both + we are a family - there is a serious benefit of opening a joint account. I am not so sure anymore....

Anyways, lots to think about. I guess we will have a family referendum before going to UBS
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Old 08.05.2014, 12:39
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

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- various levels of power of attorney, some continuing after death. The poa are more general, ie wider than banking, so need to be careful. But even if you have a poa which continues after death, if the bank account owner dies you cannot use it as the account is closed. So basically, the poa continues after death, but the bank account doesn't. They will close the account, the poa doesn't prevent this.
I have experience of a POA set up by a Swiss bank to work after death, it worked without issue. At the bankers suggestion a new. account was then opened.
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Old 08.05.2014, 13:52
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Re: Solo Bank Account to joint (UBS)

Here is an article (beobachter - german) which states:
1. Joint Accounts function also after death of a partner
2. A Power of Attorney ends on the death of the granter.

http://www.beobachter.ch/geld-sicher...ichere-regeln/

Here is an article from the Berner Zeitung (German) which differentiates between a "Gemeinschaftskonto" and a "Compte-Joint"

http://www.bernerzeitung.ch/wirtscha...story/11608843

And for those who really want to research the matter deeply, here is a dissertation on the subject of the legal aspects of the death of a bank customer . . .

http://www1.unisg.ch/www/edis.nsf/SysLkpByIdentifier/3875/$FILE/dis3875.pdf

There is a lot of conflicting information, however, and because the banks have a legal duty to protects the assets of an estate and want to protect themselves against claims from disgruntled beneficiaries, they apply or create rules to minimise their exposure to risk.
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