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Old 01.09.2010, 21:18
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Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

I am a permanent resident of the U.S. I own a condominium in Switzerland. I maintain a small Swiss bank account to pay condo-related bills (taxes, insurance, telephone, electricity, etc.) The bank has now closed my account, giving the reason that all U.S. residents' Swiss bank accounts are being closed. If I were a U.S. citizen living in Switzerland, no problem. Any thoughts or suggestions on how I'm going to pay the bills? (The bank was paying them).
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Old 01.09.2010, 21:23
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

Have you tried asking around other Swiss banks? Surely not all will have this policy ...
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Old 01.09.2010, 21:58
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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I am a permanent resident of the U.S. I own a condominium in Switzerland. I maintain a small Swiss bank account to pay condo-related bills (taxes, insurance, telephone, electricity, etc.) The bank has now closed my account, giving the reason that all U.S. residents' Swiss bank accounts are being closed. If I were a U.S. citizen living in Switzerland, no problem. Any thoughts or suggestions on how I'm going to pay the bills? (The bank was paying them).

I think you should search the forum.
This has probably been asked before.
It's especially a problem for people who still have mortgages to pay. The banks are canceling the mortgages, too.

I think that http://www.postfinance.ch may accept you.
Best would probably be to call them.
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Old 01.09.2010, 22:03
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

You pay your bills through your US account. Problem solved.
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Old 01.09.2010, 22:21
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

I live in New Hampshire, just two hours north of Boston, and have been the very satisfied owner of a PostFinance account since the summer of 2008. All correspondence in English, good English web site, and as soon as I insert my yellow card into the Postomat cash machine all messages are in English.

Two caveats:

They will need to see your passport, not sure if the consulate in NYC can verify it for them.

Beware of asking for information at an ordinary post office. I was given three sets of erroneous information at three post offices, only got things straightened out when I went to a PostFinance office
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Old 01.09.2010, 22:29
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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You pay your bills through your US account. Problem solved.
I doubt the online bill paying feature available in my checking account here in the U.S. includes paying Swiss bills in Swiss Francs online. Or, did you have something else in mind?
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Old 01.09.2010, 22:34
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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I live in New Hampshire, just two hours north of Boston, and have been the very satisfied owner of a PostFinance account since the summer of 2008. All correspondence in English, good English web site, and as soon as I insert my yellow card into the Postomat cash machine all messages are in English.

Two caveats:

They will need to see your passport, not sure if the consulate in NYC can verify it for them.

Beware of asking for information at an ordinary post office. I was given three sets of erroneous information at three post offices, only got things straightened out when I went to a PostFinance office
For what purpose do you use your PostFinance account?
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  #8  
Old 01.09.2010, 22:37
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

Have you considered Swissquote or even Paypal ?
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Old 01.09.2010, 22:45
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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I am a permanent resident of the U.S. I own a condominium in Switzerland. I maintain a small Swiss bank account to pay condo-related bills (taxes, insurance, telephone, electricity, etc.) The bank has now closed my account, giving the reason that all U.S. residents' Swiss bank accounts are being closed. If I were a U.S. citizen living in Switzerland, no problem. Any thoughts or suggestions on how I'm going to pay the bills? (The bank was paying them).
This is normal, you basically have to be a high net worth individual for the banks to still want your custom and even then, they'd rather not. Blame it on the US government and especially the IRS. Even for EU citizens not resident in CH wanting to open an account here, you have to have a minimum balance. The cheapest I was quoted for this was CHF 50'000, most banks require CHF 100'000.

Postfinance will probably take you, they accepted my German friend who wanted an account for work done in Switzerland without asking for a minimum balance or anything like that. Their online banking package works out really cheap, I think I pay two francs a month, compared to the roughly CHF 450 p.a. a bank like UBS would charge me for similar transactions. They did ask to see a passport though, but if I remember correctly, don't most banks want to see you in person when you open an account with them?

Last edited by Kittster; 31.05.2011 at 08:15. Reason: Clarification - better late than never
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  #10  
Old 01.09.2010, 22:55
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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For what purpose do you use your PostFinance account?
To make payments ... all I need is some information about the payee (IBAN number or PostFinance account) and I can easily make an online transfer at no cost.

"Ordinary" Bill Pay will probably not work internationally, but Bank of America in Boston allows you to make your own online international transfers, but with a lousy exchange rate PLUS a rather large wire fee. They also tend to get confused by IBANs, more comfortable with account number plus SWIFT number.

Many EFers have used XE.com's money transfer and have reported satisfaction; I have no experience with it.
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Old 01.09.2010, 23:12
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

I have used the XE money transfer system. I have only used it to transfer money between a USD account (of mine) in the US and an EUR account (of mine) in Germany, and it has worked rather well. Something like a 1.75% haircut compared to their listed mid-market rates and no other transaction fees.

I once tried to use it to pay third party, but it required more information than was on the invoice (bank's address, or something similar). However, once you gather and enter the necessary information for each recipient, I would very much expect it to work just like an IBAN transfer, though perhaps a bit slower.
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  #12  
Old 02.09.2010, 00:03
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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You pay your bills through your US account. Problem solved.

You would have to set up wire charges and would be dinged with a wire transfer fee each time I think.
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  #13  
Old 02.09.2010, 01:13
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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Have you considered Swissquote or even Paypal ?
Swissquote won't accept new US applications and they're currently reviewing existing accounts. The fact is that jurisdictions with secrecy regulations like Switzerland and other offshore jurisdictions are fundamentally incompatible with US residents. I would open a UK based account denominated in Swiss Francs. This should be no problem. Check out Citibank for this.

http://www.citibank.co.uk/personal/b...?merchant=citi
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  #14  
Old 05.09.2010, 22:27
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My employer say I need to close my bank acoount when I leave CH but there must be some kind of time limit. I mean I need my account to get some payments like insureance refunded. Anyone who knows how long I can keep my account?

And do the banks care? I mean they want to keep their customers and I dont think the authoroties have the right to see who owns a special account. I guess some banks just dont care about the rules.

Last edited by jrspet; 05.09.2010 at 22:32. Reason: Merging of successive posts
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  #15  
Old 05.09.2010, 22:30
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

Why shouldn't that work? I pay invoices in the US through a Swiss bank account all the time. And German ones and Slovenian ones and Spanish ones and .....


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I doubt the online bill paying feature available in my checking account here in the U.S. includes paying Swiss bills in Swiss Francs online. Or, did you have something else in mind?
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Old 15.10.2010, 09:41
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

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I am a permanent resident of the U.S. I own a condominium in Switzerland. I maintain a small Swiss bank account to pay condo-related bills (taxes, insurance, telephone, electricity, etc.) The bank has now closed my account, giving the reason that all U.S. residents' Swiss bank accounts are being closed. If I were a U.S. citizen living in Switzerland, no problem. Any thoughts or suggestions on how I'm going to pay the bills? (The bank was paying them).
I'm in the same boat, Lorelei. Joined this forum to try to figure out how to proceed with setting up an account I can easily pay Swiss bills, taxes, insurance, condo fees, etc... There has to be a better way than wire transfer for every transaction!

I was recently contacted by my bank (BCV) to cancel online acess to my accounts, and change the terms of my mortgage from 30 years to 5 years. This is actually not as bad as I've seen on other postings, but still has be quite concerned and looking into other options.

Advice anyone?? Thanks!!
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Old 31.05.2011, 02:37
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

Hello,
Just wondering if you solved your problem! I hired a local agent and arranged to have all bills (taxes, utilities, insurance, etc.) sent to him for payment--for a fee, of course. He's supposed to email copies of paid bills and current balance to me periodically. Works fairly well. If you've found a better way, please let me know.
Lorelei

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I'm in the same boat, Lorelei. Joined this forum to try to figure out how to proceed with setting up an account I can easily pay Swiss bills, taxes, insurance, condo fees, etc... There has to be a better way than wire transfer for every transaction!

I was recently contacted by my bank (BCV) to cancel online acess to my accounts, and change the terms of my mortgage from 30 years to 5 years. This is actually not as bad as I've seen on other postings, but still has be quite concerned and looking into other options.

Advice anyone?? Thanks!!
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  #18  
Old 31.05.2011, 16:12
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

Hi Lorelei,

Thanks for remembering! In fact I just returned from Switzerland a few days ago, and resolving this was hot on the agenda.

The lady who manages the apartment rental offered these services as well, and yes for a fee of course

I was able to open an "Online Set" account with the Post Finance branch in Vevey, using the Swiss address, which has a forwarding order redirecting mail back to US.

I still haven't received the materials in the mail, and have yet to actually see if it will work, so will report back with results soon.

Best to all! SG
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Old 01.06.2011, 00:48
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

Hi Sassy Groove!

I'll be anxious to learn how the Post Finance account works out for you. I assume the account is opened with Swiss Francs, and once you receive the forwarded bills in the U.S. from Switzerland, payment instructions are emailed by you to Post Finance and money is withdrawn from your Post Finance account...or, something along those lines! Please let me know you satisfaction level!

Best, Lorelei
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Old 02.06.2011, 04:27
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Re: Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank

Hi Lorelei,

Yes, that's the idea. I opened the account at the Post Finance branch in Vevey, with Swiss Francs.

I hope to be able to access the account online to pay Swiss bills associated with the property in the same way that I used to with the BCV account.

Just today I received in the mail a form from them to sign, attesting that I comply with all the US rules regarding foreign accounts, etc.

Our "freedom" never ceases to amaze...

Will keep you posted!

Best...Sassy
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