Banking

Overview

Switzerland is renowned for its excellent banking services.

Non-Swiss citizens can open a Swiss bank account, but the application process varies.

We recommend choosing a bank that best meets your needs - the services, products and charges vary from one bank to another.

Note that Swiss banking regulations generally forbid Swiss banks from advising potential new clients who are not in Switzerland. For this reason, calls or email enquiries from abroad will generally remain unanswered.

For general advice and support, especially when still abroad, simply contact Hello Switzerland.

 
 
Checklist
 
  • Compare banks to find the right provider for you
  • Check which documents are required to open an account
  • Book an appointment to open a bank account
  • Request permission to use online banking
  • Receive account details and bank cards

Need to know

  • Online banking and other services are only available in English with a small number of banks
     
  • You must be registered as a resident in Switzerland before being able to open an account
     
  • Swiss anti-money-laundering laws require verification of the source of income and confirmation of the identity of the applicant

How to proceed

  • Apply in person. Please note that some banks require an appointment in advance
  • Present the following documents:
    • Valid passport
    • Swiss residency permit
    • Verification of your Swiss address (e.g. utility bills)
    • Employment contract

Expected timeframe

It is only possible to open a Swiss bank account once you are registered as a resident in Switzerland.

Where to find help

There are a wide range of banks in Switzerland. Only a small number of them are suited to internationally mobile clients.

Swiss banks will not provide you with information until you are physically in Switzerland. This generally includes not answering emails or taking calls from abroad.

However: Should you require general advice and support on this topic, regardless of whether you are abroad or in Switzerland, contact Hello Switzerland‘s free Relocation Helpline.

What‘s important to you when banking? Which banks speak your language?
 

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How much does it cost

  • Bank account fees vary from one bank to another and also it will depend on the type of bank account and products you choose
  • It is advisable to know the costs before you decide on an option
  • Some banks will require a nominal deposit (+/- CHF 100) upon opening the account

 

 
 

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