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Old 14.02.2010, 18:30
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best swiss bank to have an account with

I am not looking to invest, just needing an account with a bank card to withdraw money. Is UBS any good (also considering hsbc)? I am also travelling to France quite often, so would prefer not to be charged too much when withdrawing money abroad..Is there any bank that has a presence in both france and switzerland (even UK)?
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Old 14.02.2010, 18:48
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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I am not looking to invest, just needing an account with a bank card to withdraw money. Is UBS any good (also considering hsbc)? I am also travelling to France quite often, so would prefer not to be charged too much when withdrawing money abroad..Is there any bank that has a presence in both france and switzerland (even UK)?
HSBC although they have branches in France, Switzerland and the UK charge you if you take money out in a country other than the one you bank in. i would go for UBS or Credit Suisse as they have branches everywhere in Switzerland anyway!
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Old 14.02.2010, 18:51
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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I am not looking to invest, just needing an account with a bank card to withdraw money. Is UBS any good (also considering hsbc)? I am also travelling to France quite often, so would prefer not to be charged too much when withdrawing money abroad..Is there any bank that has a presence in both france and switzerland (even UK)?

HSBC don't do private banking in Switzerland. We have a UK HSBC account and they opened us one in the US when we moved there but I have double checked with them and it's not possible for Switzerland - As far as I can see there aren't any UK banks that offer Swiss accounts
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Old 14.02.2010, 18:54
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

Unless you have lots and lots, it doesn't really make a lot of difference. You can with draw at any Chf 10k in your account at the UBS.

Your local Cantonal banks probably give the best deal or Raifaissen Bank for small private clients.

If you don't have 10k, go for UBS or CS as they have more branches than other banks. Maybe also check out Migros or Coop bank also.

Failing all this, take the one which is most convenient to where your work/live
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:02
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

Have a UBS account and don't think UBS is any good on exchange rates at all.

Unfortunately, I haven't figured out anyone better in this regard and therefore have no recommendations.
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:02
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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HSBC don't do private banking in Switzerland. We have a UK HSBC account and they opened us one in the US when we moved there but I have double checked with them and it's not possible for Switzerland - As far as I can see there aren't any UK banks that offer Swiss accounts
of course HSBC offer Private Banking in CH. In fact, that is all they do here.
Know someone that works there in fact...
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:11
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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of course HSBC offer Private Banking in CH. In fact, that is all they do here.
Know someone that works there in fact...
well thats odd as their website & all UK staff don't know about it - perhaps we are talking cross purposes when we say "private" All I know is that they are adamant here in the UK that you can't have a personal bank account in Switzerland. If you can put me in touch with your friend I'd appreciate it as I'd be happy to stay with the same bank
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:12
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

If you have > 25k CHF, the PostFinance "set plus" will let you take out money form any ATM, even abroad (plus you can have as many accounts in different currencies as you like). The thing is that if you have less than 25K in the account, it will cost you 12 CHF a month.
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:17
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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Have a UBS account and don't think UBS is any good on exchange rates at all.

Unfortunately, I haven't figured out anyone better in this regard and therefore have no recommendations.
You really need to change in excess of $100k at a time to get some sort of benefical exchange rates and even then it's only 0.05 or 0.025 above the published rate, even on a regular basis.
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:21
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

A "private bank" usually refers to banks for clients with upwards of $1 million in liquid assets.

http://www.hsbcprivatebank.com/offices/switzerland.html

I'm not sure but I suspect you are looking for a retail bank, in which case you won't get very far with HSBC in Switzerland.

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well thats odd as their website & all UK staff don't know about it - perhaps we are talking cross purposes when we say "private" All I know is that they are adamant here in the UK that you can't have a personal bank account in Switzerland. If you can put me in touch with your friend I'd appreciate it as I'd be happy to stay with the same bank
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:23
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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You really need to change in excess of $100k at a time to get some sort of benefical exchange rates and even then it's only 0.05 or 0.025 above the published rate, even on a regular basis.
I know rates improve for larger amounts but even those are pathetic.

This is their current spread for amounts under 25k -
1.4438/1.4881

That is a 3% spread. I have used other banks in the past to make currency transactions and have never paid more than 50 bps (0.5 percent) on a normal retail account.

edit : the spread above is for EUR/CHF
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:26
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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A "private bank" usually refers to banks for clients with upwards of $1 million in liquid assets.

http://www.hsbcprivatebank.com/offices/switzerland.html

I'm not sure but I suspect you are looking for a retail bank, in which case you won't get very far with HSBC in Switzerland.
Thank you - thats what I meant just hadn't got the terminology right - sorry for the confusion
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:34
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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I know rates improve for larger amounts but even those are pathetic.

This is their current spread for amounts under 25k -
1.4438/1.4881

That is a 3% spread. I have used other banks in the past to make currency transactions and have never paid more than 50 bps (0.5 percent) on a normal retail account.

edit : the spread above is for EUR/CHF
Unless you're talking really big bucks, the banks won't do this as it's not worth their while doing business for 50bps.

No retail bank is going to do currency transaction at this level for amounts under $0.5 mio, and for bank notes (cash) think 5,6, or 7 % disagio.
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:40
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

I`d consider Migros Bank because they dont bill you for withdrawing money on other banks like Kantonalbanks, UBS or Credit Suisse.

It seems a the moment they offer the best rates for savings and mortgages too.
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Old 14.02.2010, 19:59
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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Unless you're talking really big bucks, the banks won't do this as it's not worth their while doing business for 50bps.

No retail bank is going to do currency transaction at this level for amounts under $0.5 mio, and for bank notes (cash) think 5,6, or 7 % disagio.
Maybe it is the case here but certainly not so in the places I have lived before.

All things considered, paying 1.5% of your hard-earned as commission (when interbank spreads are a fraction of a basis point) doesn't make me a happy bunny.
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Old 14.02.2010, 20:52
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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If you don't have 10k, go for UBS or CS as they have more branches than other banks.
Don't know about CS but UBS has rather high fees unless you hold at least 10k CHF with them.
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Old 14.02.2010, 21:04
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

I opened a Postfinance "online set" account. All done in English and the staff have been very friendly. Easy to open, and good online access.

It's NOT good for withdrawing money abroad or from non-postfinance cash machines though. For that you need the "plus set" I think it's called.

The online set costs 3CHF a month if you have less than 7500CHF in your account. The plus set costs I don't know how much if you have less than 25000CHF in the bank. If I ever get to that much in my account I'll switch from online to the plus set. Then cash withdrawals worldwide are free of charges.
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Old 14.02.2010, 21:34
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

Just to clear up:
1. HSBC Private Bank is separate from HSBC Group but owned by HSBC Holdings.
2. You can find a branch of this in Paradeplatz next door to Movenpick among other places.
3. You need GBP2M or currency equivalent. There are exceptions, but as often or not they'll expect a bit in excess of this.
4. I recommend Swissquote if you don't need a debit card. You can get a Visa credit with Swissquote - they're almost an online-only bank, though they have a cafe-esque branch off Bahnhofstrasse which is most impressive.
5. I recommend Credit Suisse over UBS as I've found the UBS internet banking login system to be most labourious.
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Old 14.02.2010, 22:23
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

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5. I recommend Credit Suisse over UBS as I've found the UBS internet banking login system to be most labourious.


too secure for you, eh?
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Old 01.03.2010, 13:19
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Re: best swiss bank to have an account with

So as the OP asked...an account just to withdraw money seems to be whittled to Postbank, Migros or Coop. Any other thoughts on retail banking? IE, the poor folks with less than GBP 2 million
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