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Old 12.02.2010, 01:11
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My small plan to bring some savings to CH

Hello,

I have some savings in Norway, and therefore in NOK. I just opened a new EUR account in here, which I'd like to see growing and thus move the NOK into EUR in my new account.

Problem is: the norwegian bank will not allow me to buy EUR when transferring to CH, only CHF.

The solution I am thinking about is: move the NOK into a EUR account I have in Italy and then transfer the EUR to my brand new swiss EUR account (I plan to close the Italian one anyway).

Is there something wrong/stupid/illegal in this process that I can't see?

Also, someone here mentioned www.xe.com for changing money. It seems good, and they do offer better rates than the banks, but I don't quite understand a detail. They state:

"Funds can be sent to us by Wire Transfer, EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), or ACH (Electronic Check)."

Wire transfer incurr in a fee. But I have no clue what wire, EFT, or ACH are! I mean, whenever I transferred money using my online bank(s) I never had the possibility to choose one method rather than the others... I would not want to pay any fees, but how do I know that I am not using a wire transfer?

I hope you will forgive my total ignorance on these sort of things.

Thanks,
G
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Old 12.02.2010, 01:19
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

How much money are we talking about here??
there is nothing illegal about transfering money obtained legally...

Your bank should be able to transfer your money directly to your EUR denominated account, they could either do the conversion there and then or send it in NOK and your receiving bank will convert it... rates you're going to get are not gonna be great but all depends on the amount your transfering...
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Old 12.02.2010, 01:32
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

Thanks Dr.

It's not much money, really. It's a bit more than 3000 EUR, money I got back from the tax office in Norway because I paid too much when I was working there.

They won't tax them when I bring them into CH, right? I did move about 5K CHF when I first moved in here 2.5 years ago, and no one said anything about them...
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Old 12.02.2010, 03:36
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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...Problem is: the norwegian bank will not allow me to buy EUR when transferring to CH, only CHF...
Maybe the bank is onto something. I'd much rather have the CHF these days anyway.
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Old 12.02.2010, 06:20
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

Better have some chf, euro compared to chf will going to fall, as the swiss national bank (just a guess) have to raise interest rate and alreadY now they are having a good fight holding the 1.50 line. As soon you got money on your account, theres no problem exchanging it to eur but i would wait untill the storm is over
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Old 12.02.2010, 09:29
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

Well, I do have quite a bit of savings in CHF already. As I do use EUR often, I would like to have some of them too.

But really, in the long run, shouldn't the EUR be more stable than the CHF? I was actually thinking of buying some EUR with part of my CHF now that the rate is pretty good (over 0.68 EUR fo a CHF)....

I mean, Switzerland is very rich but still a small country: what if in few years the bank account secrecy is compeletely gone and all foregneirs take away their money from the banks? Or something like this. Isn't the economy of the EU a lot bigger and therefore safe?

Again, I know nothing about these stuff...
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Old 12.02.2010, 09:30
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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Maybe the bank is onto something.
No, they just have this rule that (at least manually from their website) can only buy one currency depending on the country where you send the money.
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Old 12.02.2010, 09:43
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

I don't know if I would want Euros at the moment.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8508688.stm

First Greece, then Portugal, Spain and Italy?
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Old 12.02.2010, 09:52
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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I don't know if I would want Euros at the moment.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8508688.stm

First Greece, then Portugal, Spain and Italy?
Ok, ok. But the EUR will not disappear, will it? I do have family and friends in Italy, thus I go there often and need euros. Now the CHF is high and I could buy some EUR to use whenever I need them... yes, maybe in the next couple of years CHF could continue growing, but in the long run... shouldn't EUR give more warranties?
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:05
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

Why do you want to close your Italian EUR account ? Each time you use your Swiss Euro account abroad, you will incur service charges. On the other hand, you cantdo transfers and use an Italian Maestro card in the whole Euro zone completety without any service charge !

This is the reason I still have a EUR account in Belgium.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:07
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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Ok, ok. But the EUR will not disappear, will it? I do have family and friends in Italy, thus I go there often and need euros. Now the CHF is high and I could buy some EUR to use whenever I need them... yes, maybe in the next couple of years CHF could continue growing, but in the long run... shouldn't EUR give more warranties?
If you're planning on using the euros for short-term needs (travel to Italy) then it doesn't really matter where the euro is headed long-term, right?

The question is whether it will be cheaper to convert NOK-CHF and then CHF-EUR as you need it (losing a little bit in conversion fees), or to convert NOK-EUR now and hold it (losing a little bit if/when the euro drops.)

I'd go for the first one but that's just me.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:09
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

Whether you want to keep the money in Euro or CHF is up to you. There are all kinds of uncertainties in the FX market right now. On the one hand the Euro is coming under pressure because of Greece's problems and fears that might cause contagion in other countries like Portugal and Ireland. So the Euro has been losing value over the last few months. And standing back, looking at the long term picture, the recovery in the Euro zone is fragile and political concensus is far from solid.
On the other hand, the Swiss Franc has strengthened as a safe haven during the crisis so the trend there is to appreciate. However in order to protect Switzerland's export sector, the Swiss National Bank has been very proactive in limiting the Swiss Franc's appreciation because they can't afford to let it appreciate too much, especially against the Euro to which Switzerland's economy is de facto tied. They will have a range in mind relative to the Euro.
Who knows where this plays out in terms of exchange rates at any given time, but if you have outgoings in Euro there is a lot to be said for having diversification in both currencies.

In terms of the NOK you want to transfer to Switzerland, there is absolutely nothing wrong or illegal doing that. I think your Norwegian Bank's policy is unusual. Most major banks are happy to do conversions and transfer a range of currencies to overseas banks - especially the major international currencies. <I'm surprised to hear they won't exchange the NOK to Euro and the transfer the proceeds to Switzerland. I've done similar things from other countries, though granted not from Norway so maybe there's something I'm not aware of. However it's no big deal. You have a number of options:
1. Get your bank to convert the NOK into CHF, transfer those CHF to your Swiss account. Then you can keep it in CHF or get your Swiss bank to convert to Euro. The problem here is that you will pay two FX commissions - one for the conversion NOK/CHF and one for the CHF/Euro.
2. Your suggestion to transfer vis Italy is less attractive because you will pay two international transfer fees - Norway-Italy and Italy-Switzerland.

Since the cheapest way to get the cash into CHF in Switzerland is to get your Norwegian Bank to do a direct NOK/CHF conversion and the do one International transfer, I would go back and insist on getting chapter and verse on why they can't do it.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:11
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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Why do you want to close your Italian EUR account ? Each time you use your Swiss Euro account abroad, you will incur service charges. On the other hand, you cantdo transfers and use an Italian Maestro card in the whole Euro zone completety without any service charge !

This is the reason I still have a EUR account in Belgium.
Well, for the IT account I have to pay some fees, which add up to more than what I get in interests from the few EUR I have left there.

I can take out EUR for free from most of the ATMs worldwide, or at least this is what PostFinance tells me
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:15
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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2. Your suggestion to transfer vis Italy is less attractive because you will pay two international transfer fees - Norway-Italy and Italy-Switzerland plus you will pay two FX commissions.

Since the cheapest way to get the cash into CHF in Switzerland is to get your Norwegian Bank to do a direct NOK/CHF conversion and the do one International transfer, I would go back and insist on getting chapter and verse on why they can't do it.
Thanks for the very nice reply.
Will I really pay two international fees? Last time, when I transferred NOK to CHF, I had to pay nothing. Indeed, my Norwegian bank says they won't charge anything for taking the money abroad (except the exchange rate), and so I guess it is for the swiss bank (PostFinance). I should check with the Italian one though...

Anyway, yes, your suggestion of trying to get the Norwegians transfer directly EUR is something worth trying.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:21
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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If you're planning on using the euros for short-term needs (travel to Italy) then it doesn't really matter where the euro is headed long-term, right?
Well, in the long term I see two possibilities:

- I leave CH, and maybe at that time the CHF, for some reason will have gone down because chocolate is proven to cause cancer

- I stay in CH, and they eventually join the EU and the EUR

Is there really a third option: CH stays out of the EU and the CHF keeps on growing forever?
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:28
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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Thanks for the very nice reply.
Will I really pay two international fees? Last time, when I transferred NOK to CHF, I had to pay nothing. Indeed, my Norwegian bank says they won't charge anything for taking the money abroad (except the exchange rate), and so I guess it is for the swiss bank (PostFinance). I should check with the Italian one though...

Anyway, yes, your suggestion of trying to get the Norwegians transfer directly EUR is something worth trying.
My overseas bank charges me for every transfer to Switzerland. If your Norwegian bank doesn't charge you, that's nice.

Here's a recent commentary on outlook for CHF/Euro which I think sums it up pretty well.
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business...ml?cid=8279936
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:33
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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Well, in the long term I see two possibilities:

- I leave CH, and maybe at that time the CHF, for some reason will have gone down because chocolate is proven to cause cancer

- I stay in CH, and they eventually join the EU and the EUR

Is there really a third option: CH stays out of the EU and the CHF keeps on growing forever?
Don't bother with this stuff. It'll mess with your head.
Nobody knows what will happen over the long term.
As I and others have said, if you have ongoing Euro expenses then you can't lose if you come some savings in Euro. If you want to be a speculator that's different. Either way with CHF vs Euro I doubt you'll end up rich or poor because Switzerland can't afford to let get the currencies so out of whack that you'd be looking at huge losses or huge gains. If anything nasty happens you'll have chance to react.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:59
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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Anyway, yes, your suggestion of trying to get the Norwegians transfer directly EUR is something worth trying.
They say they are not allowed...
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:42
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

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They say they are not allowed...
Yeah, but why aren't they allowed?
Internal bank policy?
Internal bank regulations?
Norwegian banking laws?
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:58
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Re: My small plan to bring some savings to CH

Can they do SEPA transfers? These are denominated in Euros and are usually (in my experience) the cheapest way of transferring money as long as one of the accounts is denominated in EUR.

Alternatively, you could send money to yourself using paypal ...
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