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Old 04.09.2019, 10:47
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Bank recommendation [non-resident]

I'm not domiciled in Switzerland, but spend quick a bit of my time there, so I thought it would be convenient to also have a transaction account there. I've been in contact with PostFinance and they seems to be willing to open an account for me, but they have an extra fee of 25 CHF per account for non-domiciled persons. So I'm wondering if there are any better alternatives? I'm not interested in a virtual bank, like Revolut and the like. But looking for a traditional bank with CHF and EUR accounts and possibility to interact with them in English.
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Old 04.09.2019, 10:58
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Re: Bank recommendation

What nationalities do you hold?
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:01
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Re: Bank recommendation

A Swede living in Sweden
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:02
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Re: Bank recommendation

With PostFinance and some other banks, the non-domiciled persons account fees can be avoided. Just domicile the account in Switzerland.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:17
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Re: Bank recommendation

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With PostFinance and some other banks, the non-domiciled persons account fees can be avoided. Just domicile the account in Switzerland.

The bank account is in Switzerland..... it is the owner of the bank account that is not and that incurs the fees.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:19
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Re: Bank recommendation

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The bank account is in Switzerland..... it is the owner of the bank account that is not and that incurs the fees.
Fully aware of this. The OP would need to provide a Swiss address for the mail for that account.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:21
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Re: Bank recommendation

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Fully aware of this. The OP would need to provide a Swiss address for the mail for that account.
Doesn't work, unfortunately. I have a (EU) work colleague with a bank account here and she has tried every which way.

Maybe if there are huge sums involved the banks might look at it a bit more favourably but otherwise, no.

It'll be interesting to follow this thread, though, to see if there are any tasty tips that I can pass on to her.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:23
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Re: Bank recommendation

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Doesn't work, unfortunately. I have a (EU) work colleague with a bank account here and she has tried every which way.
Maybe if there are huge sums involved the banks might look at it a bit more favourably but otherwise, no.
It'll be interesting to follow this thread, though, to see if there are any tasty tips that I can pass on to her.
Never had an issue with this. You merely need to provide a CH mailing address. Plenty of people do it and we personally know several.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:24
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Re: Bank recommendation

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Never had an issue with this. You merely need to provide a CH mailing address. Plenty of people do it and we personally know several.
She tried it with the office address and the home address of another work colleague but the bank rejected both.

Which addresses do the people you know use? Are they also with PostFinance? Just current accounts or big money accounts?

My colleague also tried with CS and UBS. Same brick wall.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:27
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She tried it with the office address and the home address of another work colleague but the bank rejected both.
Which addresses do the people you know use? Also with PostFinance?
Just ordinary current accounts. PostFinance doesn't have a problem with it. The addresses used are normal home mailing addresses. Don't forget that mail can be redirected to postboxes and names don't have to appear on the letterbox for mail etc. Also statements can be sent by email, so they rarely send anything these days anyway.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:31
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Re: Bank recommendation

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Just ordinary current accounts. PostFinance doesn't have a problem with it. The addresses used are normal home mailing addresses.
But are they legally resident at these home addresses or is it just some colleague or friend that will allow their address to be used as the official residence of the account holder?

This is one thing that PostFinance rejected on those very grounds. UBS and CS did the same. Having said that, it was perhaps 3 or so years ago so perhaps it has changed in the meantime.

I'll call them at lunchtime.

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Don't forget that mail can be redirected to postboxes and names don't have to appear on the letterbox for mail etc. Also statements can be sent by email, so they rarely send anything these days anyway.
It's more for the account opening application form that they needed the address, rather than mailing stuff to her.
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Old 04.09.2019, 11:56
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Re: Bank recommendation

Indeed, opening a bank account using a friends address wonít work because the bank wants a copy of the residency permit which you wonít have if you havenít registered yourself with the authorities. When I looked at this about five or six years ago, the UBS was willing to open a Swiss Bank account for non-residence but there was a higher fee applicable and a minimum account balance required to open the account, per memory you needed a Fr.25,000
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Old 04.09.2019, 12:08
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Re: Bank recommendation

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But are they legally resident at these home addresses or is it just some colleague or friend that will allow their address to be used as the official residence of the account holder?
They are either no longer legally resident, but once were, or they have simply used someone else's address. This seems to be fine with PF and I believe some other banks, mainly as residence isn't actually double checked, nor is it later checked to make sure it is actually/still valid. You only need to provide ID and an address. The address isn't necessarily on the ID, especially if the only ID you possess is a passport.
It's only logical that someone just arriving for example will only have a non-Swiss ID which may show a foreign address or none at all.
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Indeed, opening a bank account using a friends address won’t work because the bank wants a copy of the residency permit
We have never encountered this issue. Banks are not immigration and you can definitely open an account without a permit. BTDT several times over the years for ourselves and other people.
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Old 04.09.2019, 12:15
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Re: Bank recommendation

Anyway I don't feel like trying to fool the bank. But any opinion which bank has the best transaction account for a non-domiciled EU-citizen?
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Old 04.09.2019, 12:42
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Re: Bank recommendation

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Banks are not immigration and you can definitely open an account without a permit. BTDT several times over the years for ourselves and other people.
I don't think that's the point, though. The OP wants to open an account as a non-resident person and is looking for a way to avoid the fees.

Nothing is stopping him from opening an account (unless he's got US skeletons in the closet ) but it's unlikely that the charges can be dropped without falsifying or bending information at some point in the application process.
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Old 04.09.2019, 13:20
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I don't think that's the point, though. The OP wants to open an account as a non-resident person and is looking for a way to avoid the fees. Nothing is stopping him from opening an account but it's unlikely that the charges can be dropped without falsifying or bending information at some point in the application process.
Correct. Only those who sign up to the account whilst actually resident will be within the law I think. What happens afterwards though is another matter. I am quite sure a lot of people leave and the account stays open without a change of address, at least not an immediate one.
Residence however can be obtained essentially by being here for a minimum of one day and if you open the account on that day you'd be within the rules. Any stay of up to 3 months doesn't require a permit either, so no permit will be needed for the bank either.
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Old 04.09.2019, 13:25
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Re: Bank recommendation

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Correct. Only those who sign up to the account whilst actually resident will be within the law I think. What happens afterwards though is another matter. I am quite sure a lot of people leave and the account stays open without a change of address, at least not an immediate one.
Most T&Cs state that it's up to the account holder to inform the bank of changes.


It's not really bending the information if you move away and don't inform them, it's withholding it.

Either your "friends" have been very lucky up to now or they have some other arrangement which is acceptable to the bank (which is what I am trying to find out in order to help my colleague).
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Old 04.09.2019, 13:31
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Most T&Cs state that it's up to the account holder to inform the bank of changes.
It's not really bending the information if you move away and don't inform them, it's withholding it.
Either your "friends" have been very lucky up to now or they have some other arrangement which is acceptable to the bank (which is what I am trying to find out in order to help my colleague).
Isn't this exactly what banks do?
You'd be surprised what's possible in Switzerland if you'd just give it a try.
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Old 04.09.2019, 13:37
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Re: Bank recommendation

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Isn't this exactly what banks do?
You'd be surprised what's possible in Switzerland if you'd just give it a try.
I work with banks (admittedly not personal accounts, though). They are not the shady institutions of yore. Maybe if you've got 20 million on an account you can have some kind of special treatment but if you are just an average Joe with your monthly salary going in every month, you can just get in line.

Do you actually have real examples of what you are hinting at or is it just hearsay?
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Old 04.09.2019, 13:48
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Re: Bank recommendation

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I work with banks (admittedly not personal accounts, though). They are not the shady institutions of yore. Maybe if you've got 20 million on an account you can have some kind of special treatment but if you are just an average Joe with your monthly salary going in every month, you can just get in line.

Similar experience (and currently opening a personal account abroad): banks have to rigidly adhere to their Compliance regulations and KYC is getting worse by the day, also for personal bank accounts.


Not notifying the bank on changes (and that includes your residential address) can easily lead to having your bank account blocked.
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