Opening an account in a bank abroad: frequently asked questions
Opening a bank account in Switzerland is a simple procedure. Not only complies with every international legislation but also offers excellent advantages by diversifying your savings in a neutral and stable country with a triple-A (AAA) rating.
Given the growing number of people who are interested in opening an account in Switzerland, we have decided to present answers to some of the most frequent questions we receive on this matter.
Can I open a bank account in Switzerland?
Of course; free movement of capital means anyone can freely open a bank account wherever they wish.
Is Switzerland a safe country?
Switzerland is an extremely sound country in political, social and economic terms, earning an AAA rating from the three main credit rating agencies. Although Switzerland does not belong to the European Union, it is a party to a number of agreements governing trade and the free movement of persons.
A number of international organisations such as the UN, the Red Cross, the Olympic Committee and FIFA have their headquarters in Switzerland, as does a wide range of multinational companies.
Is it an important financial centre?
Switzerland is the world leader in private banking. It administers 25% of all the international private banking assets in the world, at USD 4 trillion, managed by over 150 banks with more than 270 years of tradition and experience.
The city of Zurich is one of the 10 major financial capitals in the world in several international rankings.
Is Switzerland a safe haven?
No. Switzerland has agreements in place with the OECD covering automatic information exchange. The country also has an agreement with the USA on FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) information exchange.
Is it more expensive to have an account in Switzerland than in my country of residence?
Not necessarily; it depends on the conditions you have agreed with your bank in your country of residence. In practice, the costs involved in having an account in Switzerland are similar to those for any type of private banking service, regardless of the country involved.
Moreover, in Switzerland banks are obliged to provide a transparent breakdown of customer fees and apply policies of best execution in securities orders.