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Banking Guide


Opening an Account


Common Account Types


  • Personal (CHF or Euro): for day-to-day transactions, salary payments, etc. Offers low interest rate

  • Saving (CHF or Euro): Offers higher interest rates, but limited withdrawals versus Personal account

  • Foreign currency : May be opened in any currency. Usually gives no interest

  • Investment / equity account: Out of the scope of this Guide, for now. Will come in the future


Typical Account Costs


Typical costs / account will usually vary from CHF 0 to CHF 50 / year.  Costs usually depend on average balance you hold with the bank & # of transactions you make.


How to Open an Account

It's simpler than what most people imagine, and here's how it's done:


1. Ensure you have these documents

    • Formal ID (Swiss or foreign)
    • Employment contract OR resident address in Switzerland 

2. With the above docs, go into any Bank branch, to physically sign a document.

3. Your account is active immediately.


Your employer may have special agreements / simplified procedure with a specific bank. Check with your HR dept.  



1. Do I need a Swiss work permit to open a basic account?
     No, as long as you have an Employment contract.

2. Are there special requirements for US citizens when opening Swiss accounts?
     Some banks may apply particular conditions to US citizens or green card holders.

3. What about 'joint account' for me and my partner ? 
     Same requirements as above + both partners need to be physically present to sign the account opening.









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