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Old 09.01.2009, 19:20
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transfer money to CH when moving in

I am moving to CH from the USA.
One of the (many) issues I wonder about is what is the best way to move my money? I guess ideally having an account with a bank that operates both in CH and USA might help. I know USB has some presence here, but not so much in the individual banking.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!
Evgeny
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Old 09.01.2009, 19:30
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Hi.
I would open an account when you get here and transfer what you need
later. There is a lot of bureaucracy in the US about transferring money
especially to Switzerland.
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Old 09.01.2009, 19:37
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Actually I don't see any problems in the USA - I bought 2 businesses in Europe and transferred more than 20 times in the last 3 years.
With my current bank it is also free!
It is the receiving part that usually creates the problems - taxes, proof of origin of the money etc.
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Old 09.01.2009, 19:38
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Things to note:

1. depending on with whom you want to open an account, you may not be able to do so until you get here (I could not open one until I had started work here, and then at one branch they refused to open it without my B-permit for which I was waiting; at another branch they opened it without any problems)

2. if you are the only human being involved, not that it is very difficult to transfer money out of the US if you are not physically there. I needed a large sum to buy a car, and I ended up sending a check to my father and having him transfer it to me here - I could not manage to get the money transfered myself, from my accounts, while I was in Switzerland. Ridiculous.
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Old 09.01.2009, 22:49
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

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Actually I don't see any problems in the USA - I bought 2 businesses in Europe and transferred more than 20 times in the last 3 years.
With my current bank it is also free!
It is the receiving part that usually creates the problems - taxes, proof of origin of the money etc.
Not to sure why your asking then if you've done it before, worth making the distinction between Europe and the EU though.
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Old 09.01.2009, 23:30
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Find a US bank that will allow you to make a wire transfer without you actually being present at the bank(either online or via a fax). Wells Fargo will not allow me to but I can via TD Ameritrade. Alternatively you could have someone else on the account that can setup the transfers in the US.

On the Switzerland end, set up a Swiss Franc account as well as a US Dollar account at whatever bank you choose. I wire directly to my US Dollar account so that I can do the currency exchange with a bit more control of timing, rate, etc.,...
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Old 12.01.2009, 19:30
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Thanks, guys

I will move to CH earlier than my wife, so she might be able to transfer the money. I talked with UBS USA yesterday - can't do it with them, as they don't offer cross border accounts. Go figure!

As other options I also thought

1) Keep on using my USA credit cards and pay online with the US bank accounts as I currently do (found a card with no international transfer fees, but this is for now)

2) Open an account with online bank (like Capital One), which might allow online transfers more easily.

The 401(k) into IRA and then ...? will be trickier...

P.S. Yes, EU is not same as Europe. And CH is its own beast, isn't it? :-)
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Old 13.01.2009, 09:34
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

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Thanks, guys

I will move to CH earlier than my wife, so she might be able to transfer the money. I talked with UBS USA yesterday - can't do it with them, as they don't offer cross border accounts. Go figure!
No bank offers cross border accounts. A well versed businessman such as yourself should have known that by now .
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Old 13.01.2009, 09:43
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

www.xe.com can be helpful for US <> CH money transfer needs, I use them frequently.
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Old 13.01.2009, 20:34
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

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Actually I don't see any problems in the USA - I bought 2 businesses in Europe and transferred more than 20 times in the last 3 years.
With my current bank it is also free!
It is the receiving part that usually creates the problems - taxes, proof of origin of the money etc.
I think it depends an lot on who you bank with in the USA. If you deal with a small bank or one who has little or not international business you may find that they use a representative bank to do the transaction on their behalf, so three parties become involved. Now this was a common practice many years ago in Europe too, but no longer. So when this strange transaction hits your Swiss bank the automanted systems have no idea what to do but stick it in a suspense account until it is processed manually!

This happened me about two years ago when a client I had in "Small Town, USA" used his local bank to send me a payment. When it arrived in my Swiss bank they seemed to have no idea how to handle it and it spend about a week doing the rounds internally before it got sorted. In a way it was funny because they were able to tell me they could see it in the system, but could not figure out how to get it moving so that it would hit my account.

Since you have already found a route that works well I'd stick to it if I was you.


Good luck,

Jim.
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Old 13.01.2009, 20:51
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

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Thanks, guys

I will move to CH earlier than my wife, so she might be able to transfer the money. I talked with UBS USA yesterday - can't do it with them, as they don't offer cross border accounts. Go figure!

As other options I also thought

1) Keep on using my USA credit cards and pay online with the US bank accounts as I currently do (found a card with no international transfer fees, but this is for now)

2) Open an account with online bank (like Capital One), which might allow online transfers more easily.

The 401(k) into IRA and then ...? will be trickier...

P.S. Yes, EU is not same as Europe. And CH is its own beast, isn't it? :-)
I've heard some people say that the Post Finance (http://www.postfinance.ch), the finance arm of the Swiss postal service, is willing to open accounts on line for people who are moving over here, so perhaps you should check them out - the site is in English.

Good luck,

Jim.
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Old 13.01.2009, 22:27
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

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www.xe.com can be helpful for US <> CH money transfer needs, I use them frequently.
tomcat,

What do they charge? I have not been able to get a clear picture of their fees. They make a BIG point of giving the interbank rate; OK, so how do they make their profit? Or do they kindly do this for people out of the goodness of their pure hearts?

I am planning to transfer a couple of thousand dollars to my PostFinance account. I know, my savings will be small in the big picture, but I do enjoy optimizing financial transactions, whether it is justified or not
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Old 14.01.2009, 08:53
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

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tomcat,

What do they charge? I have not been able to get a clear picture of their fees. They make a BIG point of giving the interbank rate; OK, so how do they make their profit? Or do they kindly do this for people out of the goodness of their pure hearts?

I am planning to transfer a couple of thousand dollars to my PostFinance account. I know, my savings will be small in the big picture, but I do enjoy optimizing financial transactions, whether it is justified or not
No hidden or overt fees that I know of or that I have ever paid. Their cut is baked into the exchange rate they give you, which in my experience over the last 18 months beat the rate my bank here would give me every single time.
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Old 14.01.2009, 09:05
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

In my experience it is much easier to transfer money from the Swiss bank to a US bank than vice versa. I use BCV (a regional bank in Vaud) and they charge CHF6 for a wire transfer. But BofA charge me $15 to receive the wire even though I have been a customer with them for 20 years and they are not actually doing anything (the funds are sent in US dollars). For other payments, I use a Swiss visa card. Occasionally, the vendor will not accept payment from a credit card with an address outside the US. In those cases, I first try to do a direct bank to bank transfer from my US bank and as a last resort I will use one of my US credit cards.
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Old 14.01.2009, 14:30
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Ironically I already had much of my money in Switzerland before I moved here...
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Old 23.01.2009, 15:51
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Interesting!
I use www.xe.com all the time to look at exchange rates, but haven't even noticed they have such a service!
I will check them as well as PostFinance.

thank you all!
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Old 03.03.2011, 19:32
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

What about the limits that the US sets on wire transfers abroad?...I thought there was some threshold that after 6k or 10k, that it's flagged by the IRS or something
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Old 03.03.2011, 20:33
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

US banks are required to report any transaction of $10,000 or more to the IRS. Although from what I hear, this is done for money laundering prevention. I have had hundreds of thousands of dollars transferred to my US bank account from a 3rd party swiss account over the years, and never had any issues.

Also FYI tdbank.com is the one of the few banks in the US that do not charge for receiving an incoming wire.

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What about the limits that the US sets on wire transfers abroad?...I thought there was some threshold that after 6k or 10k, that it's flagged by the IRS or something
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Old 03.03.2011, 22:12
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Also, with my US tdbank.com account (which can only be setup in a branch location), I am able to withdraw up to $1,000 a day from any ATM machine anywhere in the world. No ATM fee, and no foreign transaction surcharges, etc.

(Majority of US banks charge a fee for using a foreign ATM, plus 2-3% foreign transaction fee).

Capital One is the other bank in the US that does not charge foreign transaction fees, but they do have foreign ATM fees.

Also, Americans coming here, if they plan on using US credit cards here,
get a Capital One visa card, which has no foreign transaction fee, and some of their reward cards, offer 2% cash back, which can be credited toward travel related purchases.

In many countries throughout the world, (I am well travelled), I have found ATM machines that offer either local currency or Euro & USD, although I have not came across any of them in Switzerland yet.
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Old 04.03.2011, 00:46
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Re: transfer money to CH when moving in

Schwab is similar, btw
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