Open a bank account in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the largest financial centers in the world and traditionally reliable and prestigious jurisdiction for opening foreign accounts.

The country has strict legislation to ensure the stability of the banking system, and bank secrecy is enshrined in law. Confidentiality and service are in the first place. Therefore, an account in a Swiss bank is a reliable protection of financial assets and capital of its owner.

Account for foreigners

Any foreigner can open a Swiss account, but the circle of banks is limited. There is a small difference in the procedure for foreigners and those, who have permission to live in Switzerland. Before the procedure starts, each bank is obliged to check the personal data and credit history of the applicant.

Online procedure

Most banks require only personal application from the account owners. Alternatively, you can meet a representative of the bank in your country (if there is an appropriate department in your city).

There are some banks that provide an opportunity to submit all the documents online. In any case, you will need to send the originals of the documents to the bank. Due to the common Swiss rule, ‘know your customer’ all banks have to verify your package of documents.

If the bank does not ask you to send the originals, it can be an indicator of the insecurity. The simplest variant is to contact a familiar lawyer or accountant in Switzerland and ask them to submit the documents based on the power of attorney. You can also contact an appropriate law firm or organization with such experience.


The terms differ in some banks. Registration can take from 1 up to 7 days. The larger the bank, the longer it takes. So pay attention to the information on bank websites and ask a bank consultant about the time beforehand.

Required documents

The main document is a passport, an identification card (ID) or another official document to establish your identity.

Most banks also ask for information about the sources of income to ensure that there will be no laundering on their account. In this case, it is necessary to submit your previous financial and credit history. If you open an account for the company, you have to present statutory documents and information about your future transaction.

There is no need to write it down, just be ready to answer questions concerning an average number of transactions and their focus – local or international. With this information consultant will help you to choose an appropriate account and program for business management. While submitting documents you will be, ask to fill the application form.

It is important to note that there is a tendency to stringent requirements on the specifics of documents and their composition in all European credit institutions.

Numbered account and privacy

We mentioned earlier that privacy is top notch in Switzerland. You cannot open an account anonymously, as the bank is obliged to verify your identity. You can hide information about yourself to the public and choose a ‘numbered account’ option.

In this case, the number instead of a name will assign your account. This variant is popular among offshore companies. The registration does not differ from the standard one. Even if you do not assign a number to the account, banks will safely store your data.

Minimum account amount

The minimum deposit varies depending on the chosen bank.

Residents and those who regularly cross the border for business purposes can open an account in most Swiss banks without an obligation to make any minimum contribution. Non-residents are entitled to open an account. You can also use other currencies – dollars or euros.

Bank charges

There is no charge for opening an account in a Swiss bank. The other fees, as account maintenance, banking operations, administrative expenses (for example, correspondence) vary from bank to bank. They are usually determined in an individual agreement basis.

Here the purpose of your account plays a big role. If you have a personal account, the fees will be lower. On corporate accounts, as a rule, there are more transactions, and they are more complex. Any bank will provide you with a loyalty program specifically for your requests.

Our specialists will help you to choose an appropriate bank and to gather the required documents. Please, feel free to contact us for help or additional information.

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