When it comes to opening offshore and international bank accounts in stable overseas jurisdictions, Switzerland is one of the first countries that comes to mind.
In fact, private banking (and more specifically banking secrecy) originated in Switzerland in the 1700s, making Swiss banks the unofficial flag bearers for offshore private banking and wealth management services.
However, Switzerland is not for everyone. In fact, account opening can be extremely difficult for non-residents without the resources to get in. Instead, the banks in Switzerland cater to wealthy clientele and are accustomed to dealing with more complex client profiles.
Not surprisingly, the services offered by most banks in Switzerland serve these clients. In most cases, services include sophisticated banking products and services, investment management, and related advisory.
If you would like to explore opening a bank account in Switzerland for your banking requirements, use the information below to learn more or select the type of account you’re interested in to get started.
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Switzerland Bank Account Opening
In this free country guide, we’re going to help you navigate how to open a bank account in Switzerland. This will include personal banking and business banking for foreigners, non-residents, and international entities.
Feel free to use the table of contents to find the most relevant information for your Swiss banking needs.
Table of Contents
How to Open a Bank Account in Switzerland?
Before taking a look at the step-by-step process to open a bank account in Switzerland, it’s important to understand the key considerations and clients that Swiss banks accept.
With this in mind, here’s a quick snapshot of the most important bank account opening considerations and the prospective clients that can consider opening here.
Of course, not all Swiss banks accept all client types. In fact, in most cases, the largest banks in Switzerland only accept local residents and local businesses.
That said, there are Swiss banks that actively accept foreign non-resident clients. This is why we prepared a dedicated list of banks in Switzerland to help you navigate your options.
If you correctly choose a bank that accepts foreign non-residents, remote opening is usually possible. This is true for most nationalities, residencies, and countries of registration.
Likewise, very few Swiss banks will accept foreign or offshore companies and wealth management entities. But, those banks that do can often accept companies from a wide range of jurisdictions.
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Who Can Open Offshore Bank Accounts in Switzerland?
There are a number of factors that go into determining who can open an offshore bank account in Switzerland. These factors range from involved countries, transaction activity, source of income and wealth, risk profile, and much more.
We discuss all of these factors and more in GlobalBanks IQ for our premium members.
In short, GlobalBanks IQ helps members navigate their unique client profile, understand their risk factors, and determine how to clearly and accurately communicate with banks.
In doing so, our members avoid accidentally red-flagging themselves by saying things that could be misconstrued or misinterpreted by bankers and compliance teams.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about GlobalBanks IQ and how you can start opening bank accounts in Switzerland today, click here or use the link below to see everything you unlock with immediate access.
Personal Bank Accounts in Switzerland
Personal bank accounts in Switzerland can be opened by foreign non-residents, foreign temporary residents, foreign permanent residents, and of course Swiss residents.
In other words, regardless of your residency status, it is possible to open a personal bank account in Switzerland if you choose the right bank and navigate the account opening process properly.
Needless to say, banking in Switzerland can be a good choice for anyone seeking access to the Swiss franc (CHF), which is the official currency of Switzerland.
But, more important than currency exposure is the type of banking services prospective clients are looking to access. Switzerland is a private banking hub. And, while there are Swiss banking options that start at only 10,000, these are very rare.
Additionally, restrictions do apply to certain nationalities, residencies, and certain risk profiles. So, understanding your client profile and how banks perceive you is important before approaching bankers and applying for accounts.
You can access our free guide on opening a personal bank account in Switzerland by clicking here, which gives you the step-by-step process to start opening accounts and how to choose a bank that is right for you.
Business Bank Accounts in Switzerland
Business bank accounts in Switzerland are available to foreign entities, offshore companies, and companies with local business activities.
Of course, restrictions apply to certain countries of registration, operation, and business activities. So, knowing which banks will realistically accept your company is important – especially before approaching bankers and submitting applications.
However, finding a bank that is willing to accept a foreign or offshore operating company is not any easy task. In fact, one of the biggest challenges is finding a banker that will even pick up the phone, respond to email, or give you clear information on account opening requirements, fees, and restrictions.
You can access our free guide on opening a business bank account in Switzerland by clicking here, which includes important considerations for both foreign and offshore entities.
Risks of Banking in Switzerland
Yes, there are risks when banking in Switzerland. That said, this is true in any country that you might be considering opening accounts in. Of course, there are Switzerland-specific risks that all prospective account openers should consider before opening accounts.
These risks may impact whether Switzerland is suitable for your needs or could influence how you send money to Switzerland. And, the Swiss banking risks can also impact the specific banks that you decide to open with.
With this in mind, our team has covered the most common Switzerland banking risks, which you can access here.
Swiss Banking Resources
To help you successfully open Swiss bank accounts, our team of banking experts has prepared step-by-step account opening instructions for the best non-resident banking options in the country. This includes actionable banking insights, detailed bank profiles, bank specific client preferences, and information that you can’t find anywhere else.
Here is a look at all of the banking resources that you can access right now to help you navigate your Switzerland banking options:
These resources are delivered exclusively to our premium members through GlobalBanks IQ, which you can unlock immediately.
GlobalBanks IQ provides immediate access to everything you need to open Swiss Bank Accounts for you or your business!
- 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!
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Frequently Asked Swiss Banking Questions
Below are three of the most common questions we receive from people looking to open a bank account in Switzerland. If you have additional questions that you’d like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Are Swiss Bank Accounts Safe?
Yes, Swiss bank accounts are relatively safe. In fact, Switzerland is one of the safest banking jurisdictions in the world thanks to strict banking laws and regulations. Of course, whether or not it is the safest jurisdiction for you and your wealth ultimately depends on your banking objectives, investment choices, and the bank you choose to open accounts with.
Can I Open a Swiss Bank Account Online?
Yes, you can open a Swiss bank account online. In fact, most banks require applicants to complete an online application, verify their identity, and sign the account opening agreement.
How Hard Is It to Open a Swiss Bank Account for Non-Residents?
Opening a Swiss bank account for non-residents can be extremely difficult. Switzerland is often reserved for high-net-worth individuals that can afford significantly higher deposit amounts compared to other banking jurisdictions. Additionally, account opening requirements aren’t publicly available, making it difficult for applicants to know which banks to approach.
Can Foreigners Open Bank Accounts in Switzerland?
Yes, foreigners can open bank accounts in Switzerland. In fact, many foreigners can open bank accounts in Switzerland 100% remotely. That said, not all Swiss banks accept non-residents. With this in mind, preparation and bank selection are two important factors to consider before applying to open an account in Switzerland.
How Much Money Do You Need to Open a Swiss Bank Account?
How much money you need to open a Swiss bank account will vary depending on a few key factors, including your residency, account type, financial services, and the bank you choose to open with. Generally speaking, deposit requirements can range from CHF 500,000 to CHF 3,000,000. Again, this highly depends on the factors mentioned.
Free Swiss Banking Resources
Below you’ll find our archive of free Swiss banking resources to assist with account opening.
This includes detailed articles to help you open bank accounts explaining how to navigate challenges for specific client types and more.