How to Open Up a Swiss Bank Account

Written by stephen benham
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How to Open Up a Swiss Bank Account
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The U.S does not impose restrictions on citizens opening a Swiss bank account, but you are required to disclose any foreign account with the IRS in your annual tax return. Any adult can apply to open a Swiss bank account, but banks must comply with strict procedures. You can open a Swiss bank account through a subsidiary branch in the U.S., via the mail or in person in Switzerland. You cannot open a Swiss bank account via the Internet because Swiss banks are required to see and copy original documentation for identity verification purposes.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Decide whether to open a Swiss bank account by contacting a subsidiary branch in the U.S., via the mail or, if travelling to Switzerland, directly with your chosen bank. The best place to find out where Swiss bank branches are in the U.S. is to contact one of several Swiss consulate offices.

  2. 2

    Apply to open a Swiss bank account, in person, at a branch of a Swiss bank in the U.S. Contact the Swiss consulate office to get contact details of branches in your location. Select a bank. Call it to find out its procedure and requirements. You will need to attend in person with original documentation, such as a passport and proof of address. Proof of employment (payslips) or your financial means (statements from other bank accounts) may be needed. Depending on the amount of money you intend to deposit, it may be necessary to provide documentation about its source. Make an appointment to meet. Attend the meeting with the requested documentation. Complete the application form. You will also need to make an initial deposit. Some banks can open an account within 24 hours, while others take up to two weeks. You will be notified by mail when your account is set up.

  3. 3

    Apply to open a Swiss bank account by mail. Contact the Swiss consulate office to get contact details of Swiss bank branches in your location. Select a bank. Call it to get an application pack mailed. Complete the application form. Ensure that all the documentation requested is enclosed. Documentation must be original, so use secure mail. Your documents will be returned, followed by details of your new account. The process should be complete within two weeks.

  4. 4

    Apply to open a Swiss bank account, in person, in Switzerland. This is the quickest way. Appointments are not generally needed. Select your bank and walk in. Ensure you have original documentation that proves your address and your employment or other financial details. Your passport is essential. Complete the application form. Your documentation will be copied. Make a deposit. Your account will be opened immediately, or within 24 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure you check the minimum deposit requirements. Some private Swiss banks have high minimum deposits.
  • Credit Suisse and UBS both offer Swiss banking facilities and have many branches in the U.S., although these are not the only ones.

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