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-   -   Choosing a bank (https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxation/276403-choosing-bank.html)

gypsylife 28.10.2017 16:05

Choosing a bank
 
Hi there,

I'm looking at opening a swiss bank account (as a non-EU citizen) to leave some money for a "rainy day". Not talking about a huge amount, under 10k CHF. The money is not going to be used (so no frequent withdrawals or deposits) and I'm not hugely concerned with interest (although it would be nice to make something out of it lying there). The most important part is low/free account maintenance. I don't mind paying an opening fee, but I won't be needing statements, credit cards, or any sort of doing ANYTHING with it, so not having to keep depositing money regularly and no monthly charges is a must.
Just leave and forget. Access the money only if something has gone terribly wrong.

Does such a thing exist?

Appreciate any help :angel:

meloncollie 28.10.2017 16:10

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Since it's not clear from your post or profile, are you:

A. Currently resident in Switzerland?

B. Not a 'US Person'?


Answers to your question might vary depending on the above.

Medea Fleecestealer 28.10.2017 16:18

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Agreed, if not resident here it would probably be impossible to leave such a small sum here, the same goes if you're a US citizen and not resident.

If a resident then PostFinance is your best bet since amounts over 7,500 mean no account charges for their basic account. If a resident and an Amercian you'd need to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account details on to the IRS and the account would also have to be reported on an FBAR form probably if the exchange rate makes CHF10,000 = $10,000 or more at any time of the year.

gypsylife 28.10.2017 16:31

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 2866474)
Since it's not clear from your post or profile, are you:

A. Currently resident in Switzerland?

B. Not a 'US Person'?


Answers to your question might vary depending on the above.

Sorry.

A. No, not residing in Switzerland.

B. Not american either.

gypsylife 28.10.2017 16:33

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2866479)
Agreed, if not resident here it would probably be impossible to leave such a small sum here, the same goes if you're a US citizen and not resident.

If a resident then PostFinance is your best bet since amounts over 7,500 mean no account charges for their basic account. If a resident and an Amercian you'd need to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to send the account details on to the IRS and the account would also have to be reported on an FBAR form probably if the exchange rate makes CHF10,000 = $10,000 or more at any time of the year.

Completely impossible?
Not a single bank would allow me to just drop my hard earned money there?

I don't know much about the Swiss banking system except it's discreet (which is what I'm looking for...) but google search made me believe it's pretty open to foreigners leaving their money in their banks...

Appreciate any loopholes you might think of...

Guest 28.10.2017 16:38

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gypsylife (Post 2866485)
Completely impossible?
Not a single bank would allow me to just drop my hard earned money there?

I don't know much about the Swiss banking system except it's discreet (which is what I'm looking for...) but google search made me believe it's pretty open to foreigners leaving their money in their banks...

Appreciate any loopholes you might think of...

The reputation for secrecy and discretion for foreign-based account holders normally applies to those HNWIs with deposits in 6 or 7 figures, though. ;)

meloncollie 28.10.2017 16:45

Re: Choosing a bank
 
In case you haven't been following Swiss banking news, cross border banking secrecy is pretty much a thing of the past.* Switzerland has signed automatic exchange of information treaties with a number of countries. See here, including a chart listing the participating countries:

https://www.efd.admin.ch/efd/en/home...on--aeoi-.html


ETA:

As a non-resident (and not a US Person) you can still open an account with many Swiss banks, assuming you can provide whatever information is needed to satisfy their KYC requirements or any other criteria requested. However, don't expect today the kind of 'discretion' that made Swiss banks (in)famous. Also, be aware that a small amount of money might not be very interesting (read: profitable) for some banks, so you might encounter a few cold shoulders as you search for a suitable bank.



*The usual comments about gazillionaires...

Medea Fleecestealer 28.10.2017 16:52

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Maybe depending on your nationality, but they will charge monthly fees for the privilege which isn't what you're looking for. PostFinance will charge CHF25 a month to non-domiciled account holders. Other banks will charge more.

gypsylife 28.10.2017 16:56

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 2866490)
In case you haven't been following Swiss banking news, cross border banking secrecy is pretty much a thing of the past.* Switzerland has signed automatic exchange of information treaties with a number of countries. See here, including a chart listing the participating countries:

https://www.efd.admin.ch/efd/en/home...on--aeoi-.html





*The usual comments about gazillionaires...


Doesn't that usually apply to government agencies and police?
I'm not looking to hide my money from the government, I worked hard for it, saved it, paid my taxes and have the papers to prove it.

It's more of a "If I get divorced...I don't wanna have NOTHING." kind of scenario.

Not a gazillioner. Just someone who doesn't trust anybody and wants to make sure I have something to pull me up if I need to.

fatmanfilms 28.10.2017 16:59

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gypsylife (Post 2866495)
Doesn't that usually apply to government agencies and police?
I'm not looking to hide my money from the government, I worked hard for it, saved it, paid my taxes and have the papers to prove it.

It's more of a "If I get divorced...I don't wanna have NOTHING." kind of scenario.

Not a gazillioner. Just someone who doesn't trust anybody and wants to make sure I have something to pull me up if I need to.

Everything exchanged to tax authorities as standard, regardless of account balance & zero exceptions.

I believe that failing to declare assets in a divorce is against the law in CH, so I doubt they will want to help someone with potential criminal intent.

ivank 30.10.2017 20:01

Re: Choosing a bank
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gypsylife (Post 2866470)
non-EU citizen ... Not talking about a huge amount under 10k CHF ...low/free account maintenance ... Does such a thing exist?

No. Expect to shell out at least a hundred or two a year for the privilege of having a non-resident account here. If any bank would even take you - a 10k balance would impress noone, It's below poverty level - you can hardly rent an apartment with that

Quote:

It's more of a "If I get divorced...I don't wanna have NOTHING." kind of scenario.
Banks pretty much everywhere would cooperate in a divorce case

Better buy some bitcoin


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