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Old 04.07.2019, 16:55
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banking in CH and US

Hello - My husband and I are relocating to the Zurich area in September. We will have x2 children in the states at university. We are looking for an international bank that will provide the smoothest/least cost prohibitive financial services. We will need to exchange our chf for US dollars, transfer $ between our accounts and our children's accounts, pay tuition in US, etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!
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Old 04.07.2019, 18:25
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Re: banking in CH and US

Probably going to be more of a question of which banks are willing to accept you...
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Old 04.07.2019, 19:10
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Re: banking in CH and US

Your choices are going to be pretty much limited to UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance. It's unlikely any other banks will touch you with your American taint.
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Old 04.07.2019, 20:25
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Re: banking in CH and US

But have a look ar Revolut and TransferWise for your currency exchanges.

Just curious but what are x2 children?
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Old 04.07.2019, 20:43
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Re: banking in CH and US

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Hello - My husband and I are relocating to the Zurich area in September. We will have x2 children in the states at university. We are looking for an international bank that will provide the smoothest/least cost prohibitive financial services. We will need to exchange our chf for US dollars, transfer $ between our accounts and our children's accounts, pay tuition in US, etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!
I had Postfinance accounts in USD, GBP, EURO & CHF the English internet was easy to use & foreign transfers went without glitch, except the time I sent $16,000 as 'postcash' I phoned the Post & they thought it was a perfectly normal daily transaction in CH. Apparently the US post arrived with 8 cheques made out for $2000 rather than actual cash as they would have done in CH

For small fx transactions it was cheaper direct than using currency fair as there are always some charges to pay, for large FX deals currency fair is definitely good, Money sent from CH arrives in New York the same day.
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Old 06.07.2019, 13:09
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Re: banking in CH and US

Had problems yesterday trying to do a giro international from post finance to a BB&T checking account in the USA. Even a agent at post finance who tried to help had no luck.
We put in swift code of BRBTUS33
Then BB&T routing # and account # and after sending we got
# of financial institution is invalid or
# transit number is invalid
Called post finance Bern and they said indeed they experiencing problem with wire transfer at the moment but I thing the problem is how we filed out the giro request on the post finance app.
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Old 06.07.2019, 14:40
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Re: banking in CH and US

Here is an approach:

1. Apply for a PostFinance account. They have to take everyone, even Americans, by dint of their charter. They pay crap interest; but so does every bank in CH. Inflation is minimal here, so it doesn't matter. They provide online banking, credit cards, etc., all in English.

2. Create a US address with USABox.com. This allows you to do #3 below due to the "patriot" act. You can use it to forward US mail as well if you want. You need to maintain a polite fiction that you live in the US in order to do business with Schwab. Your US address will come from a list that USAbox provides in a state, such as Florida or Texas, which doesn't have a state income tax, saving you that hassle.

3. Open Schwab brokerage and bank accounts. Also get their direct debit/Visa card and a box of checks.

3. Open an account with TransferWise.com

4. Use TransferWise to move funds to/from Schwab and the bank which will be the source of your operating funds for tuition, etc. Send your US payments via check from the Schwab account or direct bank transfer.

Transferwise charges a fee based on a sliding scale of amount you are transferring but gives you the current market exchange rate and guarantees it. It's simple, fast, and costs way less than what a bank will charge. Banks tend to juice the exchange rate and keep it obscured. TransferWise is transparent about costs. Safe as well.

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Old 06.07.2019, 15:02
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Re: banking in CH and US

I do my state side payments thru: https://www.sdfcu.org
One can get an account as an ACA member: https://www.americansabroad.org
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Old 06.07.2019, 15:12
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Re: banking in CH a

Thanks Doctor Memory and rob Bob.
I already have a account with Post Finance and BB&T with address in USA. Therefor I need to transfer funds from Post Finance to my BB&T account in the USA as some outstanding bills in the USA I pay with my BB&T account on line.
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Old 06.07.2019, 17:09
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Re: banking in CH and US

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1. Apply for a PostFinance account. They have to take everyone, even Americans, by dint of their charter.
No they don't

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2. Create a US address with USABox.com. This allows you to do #3 below due to the "patriot" act. You can use it to forward US mail as well if you want.
And when the the accounts or transactions are frozen you'll have go advice then to.. NOT

Last edited by Jim2007; 06.07.2019 at 22:47.
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Old 06.07.2019, 17:38
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Re: banking in CH and US

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Had problems yesterday trying to do a giro international from post finance to a BB&T checking account in the USA. Even a agent at post finance who tried to help had no luck.
We put in swift code of BRBTUS33
Then BB&T routing # and account # and after sending we got
# of financial institution is invalid or
# transit number is invalid
Called post finance Bern and they said indeed they experiencing problem with wire transfer at the moment but I thing the problem is how we filed out the giro request on the post finance app.
If I remember correctly, just the routing number followed by your account number. Has to be done with giro international:
https://www.postfinance.ch/en/privat...rnational.html
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Old 06.07.2019, 17:50
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Re: banking in CH and US

We did that too. Monday I will call Post Finance Bern and talk to a wire specialist.
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Old 06.07.2019, 19:18
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Re: banking in CH and US

I am a new TransferWise user but I already like how simple and intuitive it is. It allows international transfer to occur with the best conversion rate. It does charge a fee, but you can see how much. I don't know enough to tell you more. But this could be an option.


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Hello - My husband and I are relocating to the Zurich area in September. We will have x2 children in the states at university. We are looking for an international bank that will provide the smoothest/least cost prohibitive financial services. We will need to exchange our chf for US dollars, transfer $ between our accounts and our children's accounts, pay tuition in US, etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!
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Old 07.07.2019, 11:59
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Re: banking in CH and US

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...Apply for a PostFinance account. They have to take everyone, even Americans, by dint of their charter.
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No they don't
When I went there to inquire about accounts, they said they pretty much have to accept anyone with a valid residence permit for a basic bank account. However, as an American you have to waive all your rights under Swiss privacy law, and you can't have an investment account with them. You may or may not qualify for a credit card.
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Old 07.07.2019, 12:09
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Re: banking in CH and US

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When I went there to inquire about accounts, they said they pretty much have to accept anyone with a valid residence permit for a basic bank account. However, as an American you have to waive all your rights under Swiss privacy law, and you can't have an investment account with them. You may or may not qualify for a credit card.
Americans can't have investment accounts with any Swiss institution any more. Credit Cards can be obtained for free at Mirgros and Coop.
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:23
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Re: banking in CH and US

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When I went there to inquire about accounts, they said they pretty much have to accept anyone with a valid residence permit for a basic bank account. However, as an American you have to waive all your rights under Swiss privacy law, and you can't have an investment account with them. You may or may not qualify for a credit card.
Pretty much is not a legal term. There is no legal obligation.
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