How do I open a Swiss bank account, and what makes them so special?

By Albert Phung AAA
A:

Surprisingly, opening a Swiss bank account is not that much different from opening a standard bank account because you have to fill out forms and provide documentation that proves who you are and what you do. However, due to some special circumstance regarding privacy, the level of scrutiny over providing official documentation of your identity is more strict. For example, you may need to show your official passport to provide your identity, whereas a driver's license would probably suffice in the U.S. There are also different minimum balance requirements depending on the type of account you want. These can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.

The main benefits of Swiss bank accounts include the low levels of financial risk and high levels of privacy they offer. The Swiss economy is one of the most stable economies in the world and has not been involved in any conflicts in hundreds of years. Furthermore, Swiss law requires that banks have high capital requirements and strong depositor protection, which practically ensures that any deposits will be safe from financial crisis and conflict. In terms of privacy, Swiss law prevents the bank from disclosing any information regarding your account (even its existence) without the depositor's permission. The only caveat is that the information will be revealed if a government agency makes the claim that a depositor is involved in a serious criminal act or is involved in some other financial issue (such as bankruptcies, divorces and inheritances). Furthermore, Swiss anti money-laundering regulations also require depositors to provide proof regarding the origin of where the money being deposited came from.

For related reading, see Pros And Cons Of Offshore Investing.

RELATED FAQS

  1. Why would you keep funds in a money market account and not a savings account?

    Read about the differences between money market accounts and savings accounts, and see why a depositor would elect a money ...
  2. What percentage of the global economy is comprised of the forest products sector?

    Find out what percentage of the global economy is comprised of the forest products sector, and learn why coming up with an ...
  3. What developed countries have the greatest exposure to oil & gas drilling?

    Find out which countries have the largest proven reserves of oil and gas, and learn how the energy landscape has changed ...
  4. Why is due diligence important before a company acquisition?

    Learn about due diligence and company officials' fiduciary duty. Explore the ill-fated acquisition of Countrywide Financial ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Debit Card

    An electronic card issued by a bank which allows bank clients ...
  2. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

    A measure of how much income a business generates, given the ...
  3. Heckscher-Ohlin Model

    An economic theory that states that countries export what they ...
  4. Money Market Account

    An interest-bearing account that typically pays a higher interest ...
  5. Financial Account

    A component of a country’s balance of payments that outlines ...
  6. Middle-Income Countries (MICs)

    Nations with a per-capita gross national income in 2012 between ...

You May Also Like

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    What Is Happening To The BRIC Economies?

  2. Economics

    The Economic and Social Effects of Corruption

  3. Economics

    Sanctions & Falling Oil Prices Hit Ruble ...

  4. Professionals

    How Mukesh Ambani Has Expanded Reliance ...

  5. Savings

    How Foreign Transaction Fees Work

Trading Center