For more than five decades, Switzerland has made itself a beacon for peace. The unique and highly stable political system has made many multinationals including the United Nations, World Health Organization, and others consider it home. The same peace that has attracted huge multinationals has also made the European country also to attract many financial institutions.
Switzerland is the headquarters of most international banks in the world today. As more banks enter this high potential and peaceful jurisdiction, it means that it is also a great place to open a bank account.
Globally, most financial systems have been ailing over the last 15 years because of many factors including political interference, and mismanagement among others. To be sure that your deposits are safe and readily accessible, make sure to open a bank account in a country like Switzerland. In this post, we outline the main steps that applicants should take when opening a bank account in Switzerland.
Identify the bank of choice
The banks that operate in Switzerland are very diverse. This means that their operational model differs greatly depending on the respective bank of choice.
At this point, you need to carefully think about the reasons for going offshore and identify a bank that rhymes with the personal objective. For example, are you targeting higher interest rates or lower taxes? The bank you select will be crucial in defining the ability to achieve the pre-set objectives.
Read through its rules and policies
Though the banks in Switzerland are governed by the same country’s financial laws, their policies are very different. Here, you need to appreciate that the banks are also businesses and their targets are different. Therefore, how well does the policy meet your anticipations?
For example, if a bank sets very high charges for running an account, the chances are that the deposits will be consumed progressively. At this point, you must also note the requirements for opening a bank account. Therefore, make sure to review the policies comprehensively before opening a bank account in Switzerland.
Prepare and present the required documents to the selected bank
Gather all the documents that the bank requires and head to their branch in Switzerland. In the past, it was possible to open a bank account without having to travel to the target destination. This is no longer possible with Switzerland banks. The main documents that most banks require include;
- Personal identification documents such as passports
- Proof of residence
- Demonstration of tax compliance back at home
- Source of income
- Recent copies of bank statements
When opening bank account in Switzerland, most banks want to see you, get personal contacts, and have assurance clients are easily reachable.
Be prepared for due diligence in line with latest CRS framework
After passing the CRS framework on financial reporting by OECD, many countries that adopted it such as Switzerland have tasked the banks to carry due diligence on people who are opening bank accounts.
This means asking for more details about tax compliance back at home to establish whether the account holder is a high-risk party or not. This means that the bank might ask for specific information about your tax compliance back at home before opening bank account in Switzerland.
Opening a bank account in Switzerland is relatively easy compared to most countries around the globe. However, you have to prepare all the documents appropriately to avoid the account getting rejected. You should also be prepared for due diligence because Switzerland is highly committed to helping stamp out tax evasion and fraud.