Private Banking in Europe

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Private Banking in Europe

Private banking in Europe involves the most sophisticated, exclusive, and difficult-to-access banks in the world. These banks typically cater to high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients. But there are also some European private banks that offer a more modern approach to personalized banking services for a fraction of the deposit.

Use the following articles, written by our team of banking experts, to navigate private banking in Europe and find the options that are best suited to your needs.

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Click here to read our featured European private banking article discussing how to get start with Swiss bank account opening.

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Private Banking in Europe

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Getting Started

Private Banking in Europe 101

Europe is the birthplace of private banking and still offers some of the world’s most attractive private banking options for both European and non-resident clients. 

The specific European banking hubs that you can choose from will depend on your client profile (especially your residency), desired deposit amount, and the services you’re looking to obtain.

Here are a few key takeaways that you should consider before you start the process of choosing where to open an account. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Private banking in Europe is accessible to most clients
  • Your country of residency is an important factor in deciding where you’re eligible to open accounts
  • Initial deposits at “traditional” private banks range from $100k to $5mm
  • New “digital” private banking options can be accessed with $10k
  • European private banks are geared towards investment activities
  • You should carefully review all related fees before opening an account

Important Considerations

Private banking in Europe can unlock access to a wide range of benefits, including exclusive investments, Lombard loans, preferred rates on foreign currency transactions, reduced investing fees, and the expertise of a bank’s internal team to manage your wealth. 

It’s important to remember that private banking is primarily focused on investing. That means that if you open a private bank account with a European bank (particularly a traditional private bank), you will be expected to invest a large portion of your deposit in the bank’s investment products. 

Also keep in mind that private banks are not suitable for transactional banking.. While most private banks do not levy fees on incoming transfers, they typically charge higher fees than retail banks on outgoing transfers.

So if you’re looking for transactional banking, there are better and more affordable options available elsewhere.

Who Can Access Private Banking in Europe?

Private banking in Europe is not as freewheeling as the media would have you think. Just because you have the funds, that does not guarantee that you will be able to open a private bank account. This is especially true when it comes to the nationality and residency of a prospective client. More specifically, if you’re an American. 

Thanks to US FATCA regulations, when taking on American clients, international banks have to comply with a whole host of complex compliance and reporting requirements. This can be very costly for banks, so many choose to simply not accept Americans.

In fact, most Swiss banks will not accept American residents at all. If they do, it’s usually because the client has an existing relationship with an SEC registered independent asset management firm. And even then, the bank might put a number of restrictions on the account so that they can reduce their compliance burden.

Residents of Canada, Australia, and the UK face similar restrictions. But citizens of these countries who live elsewhere (e.g. UAE, Singapore, Panama), have many more options available to them. 

Aside from these residency restrictions, private banking in Europe is actually very flexible. For instance, Liechtenstein is one of our favorite banking hubs and is a suitable option for people with “high-risk” income. 

For instance, people that work or engage in industries such as crypto, gaming, and adult entertainment can consider opening accounts in Liechtenstein. For private banking, you’ll typically need to make a qualifying deposit above $1mm to be considered.

Here are a few other examples of the groups that can consider opening private bank accounts here.

Suitable Client Profiles for Private Banking in Europe

  • Individuals who want discretionary investment management
  • Wealth management structures used for investing
  • Holding companies with portfolios of private assets
  • Individuals struggling to open accounts elsewhere willing to make large deposits
  • Individuals with high-risk income willing to make large deposits
  • Businesses engaged in high-risk industries willing to make large deposits

This is just a sample of the different clients that can consider European private banking. There are options for nearly anyone who is interested in private banking, the question is simply which private bank is the best for you?

To answer this question, we can help you in one of two ways…

First, we’ve created a comprehensive account opening platform called GlobalBanks IQ – it provides all of the tools you need to navigate the private bank account opening options and successfully open accounts. Through the platform you will be able to find the best banks for your particular situation, country of citizenship/residence, the services you’re looking for and the deposit you’re willing to make.

That said, given that you’re considering private banking, you may want a more complete solution.If that’s the case, you would be best served by GlobalBanks Insider. 

GlobalBanks Insider is a done-for-you solution that leverages our team’s expertise to provide you with direct one-on-one support and personalized introductions to the European private banks of your choosing. 

Pick the approach you want to take and start the process of opening a private bank account in Europe today.


GlobalBanks IQ provides instant access to everything you need to open Private Bank Accounts in top private banking jurisdictions!

  • Choose banks in minutes with our international banking database
  • Open accounts with detailed step-by-step instructions
  • Handle banker questions easily with detailed conversation scripts
  • Meet bank requirements (e.g. local address) with proven solutions
  • Unlock exclusive offers from the best banks in our member reports
  • Receive lists of banks that accept high-risk & offshore businesses
  • Plus much more!

Learn More About Your Options

Alternatives to Private Banking in Europe

Below you’ll find our archive of free resources to assist with account opening. 

This includes detailed articles to help you open accounts in top banking hubs in Asia and free guides explaining how to navigate challenges for specific client types. 

We also share helpful information on how to overcome challenges for specific businesses and individuals.

Looking for a different type of account? 
We can help you make informed decisions about personal, business, & private banking across Europe, Asia, and the United States. Click here to learn more.

Free Resources

Explore Private Banking in Europe

Below you’ll find our archive of free resources to assist with account opening. 

This includes detailed articles to help you open private bank accounts in top European private banking hubs.

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