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Swiss Bank Account

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Swiss banking secrecy has deep roots, in 1713 the Great Council of Geneva adopted regulations prohibiting bankers from revealing details about their client
In 1934 Switzerland enacted its famous banking secrecy laws, entrenching de facto banking secrecy by making it a criminal offence to divulge information

We work with banks that are not subsidiary of your home country bank groups. This greatly enhance privacy and secrecy

Our clients, who use the Bank Introduction Service, are not required to visit the swiss bank in person

 

Account features:

24 hours / 7 days On Line Banking
Strong bank secrecy and privacy
Allows you to send and receive international payments SWIFT
Multi-currency (EUR, USD , GBP, etc. )
Anonymous Visa/Mastercard ATM International debit cards
Visa/Mastercard Credit Cards (optional)

Our Swiss bank partners requires a minimum deposit of: 0$

Swiss private banks require 5.000 to 10.000$ (or currency equivalent)

As seen on

 

Clear

Who can open a Swiss bank account?

Everyone can open an account at a bank in Switzerland. However, banks reserve the right to reject customers. For example, a bank might refuse to offer banking services to a so-called “politically exposed person” who the bank believes would pose a “reputation” risk if he or she were to become a client. A bank might also refuse to start a banking relationship if it has doubts about the origins of the potential client’s funds. Swiss banks are forbidden by law to accept money which they know or must assume stem from crime or any illegal activities.

How can I open a Swiss bank account on-line?

Yes, but You will have to envoy the bank an envelope containing all the required documents,  in accordance with the Due Diligence Agreement (CDB 03), the bank verifies the identity of the contracting partner by obtaining a certified copy of an official identification document (e.g. passport and confirmation of residential address). The certified copy may be provided by a branch, representative office or group company of the  bank; by a correspondent bank; by a financial intermediary specifically appointed by the bank; or by a notary public or public office that customarily issues such authentications. The bank also checks the address of the new customer through an exchange of correspondence.:

For swiss personal bank account the following documents are required:

Certified Passport/ national identity card
Certified utility bill or bank statement
For Swiss corporate bank accounts the following documents are required

All the above plus:

Certified company documents (Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Article of Associations)

 

How can I open an account from my home country?

Swiss banks have procedures concerning the opening of accounts, irrespective of the domicile of the customer. In line with Swiss laws governing “due diligence”, the bank must verify the identity of the customer on the basis of an official document (e.g. a passport and confirmation of residential address).

 

Why bank in Swiss?

Bank in Switzerland are famous for their strict bank secrecy, their solvibility, and they benefit from the country’s political and financial stability. No swiss bank has ever declared bankrupt.

 

Can you open the Swiss account without having to visit the bank personally?

Of course, all the swiss accounts (exluded hnwi accounts)  we support to open do not require the physical presence of the owner.

 

How safe are banks in Switzerland?

All banks operating in Switzerland must be licensed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA. The FINMA, which is a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, regulates and supervises all banks in Switzerland according to the Basel Committee’s standards. These standards cover not only equity and capital adequacy but also the entire scope of prudential and behavioural rules. As an additional safety measure, Swiss law demands capital adequacy standards even higher than those required by the Basel Accord. Swiss banks can therefore certainly be counted amongst the safest in the world.

 

How secret are swiss banks?

In Switzerland great importance has traditionally been attached to the protection of an individual’s privacy, and this has always included financial privacy. Surveys consistently show that the vast majority of the Swiss people want to maintain this protection. However, the high level of confidentiality Swiss banks offer both their domestic and foreign customers is not absolute and certainly does not shield criminals. As a matter of principle the rights to privacy can be suspended when a criminal investigation is underway. Our aim is to protect the privacy of the honest bank client while exposing criminals to the full force of the law.

 

Can an account by opened anonymously in Switzerland?

No, that is not possible. Banks follow so-called “know-your-customer” rules which require staff to identify the person opening an account and, where necessary, to establish the identity of the beneficial owner. Incidentally it was the banks themselves who drew up the extremely strict, internationally recognized rules for verifying the identity of their clients as a deterrent to money of criminal origin.

 

What swiss bank client secrecy means?

Bank client confidentiality means that the banks have a duty to keep confidential all facts that involve their customers. At the same time, it is a right of the customer, for it is the customers not the banks who are entitled to the protected data. Bank client confidentiality protects the clients’ privacy and is thus comparable to the discretion exercised by lawyers or doctors. The right to privacy is a mainstay of the Swiss legal system, and it is laid down in the Federal Constitution (section 13).

 

Does swiss  secrecy shield criminals?

No. Bank customer confidentiality has never been absolute. Swiss banks are obliged, for example, to disclose information in criminal proceedings against their clients. This is an absolute obligation, regardless of whether the offence was committed in Switzerland or abroad. Compared with other countries Switzerland has always been very successful at combating organized crime and money laundering. Switzerland is one of the cleanest financial centers in the world.

 

What documents are required to open the swiss personal bank account?

  • Passport.
  • Copy of utilities must be no longer than three months old. You may need to have these documents certified.

 

What means certificated/notarized documents?

Certification means that a bank official, cpa, attorney at law, notary public, attests that the documents are true. As example, for each documents he writes:  “I hereby certify this is the true copy of Mr. First Name, Last Name”. This comes with signature, date and professional stamp.

What documentation will the bank want to see?

As mentioned above, Swiss banks are obliged to verify the identity of a client. The bank will want to see official identification papers such as a valid passport or an equivalent official identification document containing a photograph. The bank may also ask for documentation that can prove the origin of your funds, such as the contract for a house sale, a statement from a foreign bank, a receipt from the sale of securities, etc.

 

What questions will the  Swiss bank ask me?

First of all, the bank’s staff will certainly ask questions to fulfill the bank’s legal obligations with regard to due diligence. This will include asking for proof of your identity and also establishing the identity of the beneficial owner of the assets if you are depositing funds on behalf of someone else. The bank’s staff might also ask about the origin of the funds and the nature of your professional business and they will also want to get an idea of your usual financial transactions. In order to offer you the best advice, the bank will also ask about your future plans, for example, whether you intend to buy a house, start a business, retire, etc. If you are asking the bank to manage an investment portfolio they will also ask how much risk you are willing to accept. In short, the more the bank knows about you, the more it can tailor its advice and service to your individual needs.

 

Is the opening guaranteed?

Yes the opening is guaranteed as long as You:

a) Fill correctly the application form

b) Are not  a criminal

c) Show bank proof of source of funds

d) Have all the documents  legally valid and certified.

 

How long does it take to open a swiss account?

From few working days up to 3 weeks.

What are the fees applied by the swiss banks?

Swiss banks have competitive fees and higher interests rates  compared to the banks around the corner

How can I withdraw money from my swiss bank account?

ATM card and credit card valid in all the world.

 Can I open a Swiss account as a non resident ?

Sure , almost all our clients are non-residents. We have clients in many countries.

I’m Indian (south african, brazilian, etc,etc) citizen, can I still open the swiss account ?

Yes, you can.

Do you have an swiss bank account? Should you pay tax?

If you receive savings and investment income from abroad, you will usually need to declare this on a Self Assessment (SA) tax return. You may have to pay  Income Tax, but if you’ve paid foreign tax on the income you may be able to offset (deduct) this.

Does the  account have on-line banking?

Yes all account have on-line banking 24 hours/ 7 days always available.

Can I close my swiss account whenever I wish ?

Sure There are no restrictions when it comes to closing an account in Offshore countries. You are free to close your account if you wish. The procedure is immediate and cost-free. Of course, if your money is invested, it generally takes a few days to liquidate positions, but even so, no one will prevent you from withdrawing your funds or charge you a financial penalty.

Which  swiss bank will account be opened with ?

We have a large network of banks in Offshore countries.

Many of which have been in operations for over 100 years. Our company will select the bank with the best conditions at present from a permanently updated list of banks with the best price-ratio. We work with banks in all categories. Which bank is right for you depends on many factors, such your country of tax residence, where you reside, eventual treaties of exchange information that have been signed, how much you plan to deposit and what kind of operations will you perform with funds.

Can I choose the swiss bank ?

Yes you can choice bank. We do not, however, give out the names of the banks before you actually pay in full an order. Each account we offer can be opened with different  banks in the same country We select the bank that suits better the client needs and minimum deposit requirements. We do not offer “mass product”. We select the banks with the best conditions at present from a permanently updated list of banks with the best privacy&security policy.

Why do I need to pay to open an account ? What benefits would you provide?

Opening a bank account in Swiss is not like opening one in your home country, where all you need is a walk into any bank down the street with your driver’s license and 10$. Swiss banks are very cautious in dealing with new clients that are not introduced by someone they know. Using our bank introduction services, you benefit from the advice of professionals specialists in international banking laws, international company and tax laws. We make sure the opening procedure is as quick and straightforward as possible. For a little fee you’ll save weeks of searches and many complications. In many cases we can obtain better terms for our clients lower minimum balance, lower commissions, less restrictions on facilities offered, etc… Most banks have many restrictions to what facilities you will actually get and you usually learn about it after you have opened your account. We can open accounts by mail. We opened hundreds of accounts for clients all over the world and can provide quick and reliable service. Through us you are assigned seasoned, professional and efficient account managers. In any given bank, there are good account managers and not-so-good ones. The good ones are always busy with clients and take only the most promising new clients or those sent by people they know. We specialize in helping international clients open an offshore bank account that will match their needs and more important that will not cause tax problem in their home country. We are not a bank and offer impartial advice and assistance in selecting and opening the right account for your needs in the right country

 

Account Opening Procedures & Requirements

Opening an offshore bank account via distance banking is slightly more cumbersome when compared to opening a domestic bank account, considering one actually walks into a branch when opening a domestic bank account. As one of the oldest professional offshore banking service providers & incorporation agents on the web, we have relationships with major offshore banks and financial institutions around the world, and stand ready to assist you every step of the way during the account opening process.

Generally speaking the procedure to open an offshore bank account consists of properly preparing and submitting the following documents:

Notarized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and/or Articles of Association (for corporate accounts)
Certified copy of your government issued passport (for both personal and/or corporate accounts)
Original Utility Bill (for both personal and/or corporate accounts)
Bank or professional reference for the account signatory (for both personal and/or corporate accounts)
Completed banking applications and forms which we provide and assist in completing

Bank Due Diligence requirements

To comply with legislations, banks must collect adequate due diligence to verify the identity of the ultimate beneficial owners and controllers of the potential client wanting to establish a relationship with the bank. Below is the documentation required for the various types of entity the potential client may be established as.

Limited Company – please provide certified copies of the following: a) Certificate of Incorporation, b) Memorandum and Articles of Association, c) Register of Directors, and d) Register of Members. For at least two of the entity’s directors, for shareholders with an interest equal to or greater than 10% and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Limited Liability Company – please provide certified copies of the following: e) Certificate of Incorporation, f) Operating Agreement, and g) Schedule showing the members and their respective percentage interests. For at the entity’s managing member, for members with an interest equal to or greater than 10% and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Limited Partnership – please provide certified copies of the following: h) Certificate of Registration (where available), i) Limited Partnership Agreement, and j) Schedule showing the limited partners and their respective percentage interests. For the general partner, limited partners with an interest equal to or greater than 10% and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Trust – please provide a certified copy of the declaration of trust or deed of settlement as appropriate, and for any of the trust’s settlor, beneficiary(s) with a vested interest and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Foundation – please provide certified copies of: k) Certificate of Registration, l) Charter of the Foundation, and m) Register showing the Council of Members. For at least two of the Council of Members, beneficiaries and for all other authorized account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Individuals – please provide certified copies of the documents below: i) Passport or drivers license, bearing their signature and photograph, AND one of the following to verify their residential address (PO boxes are not acceptable); ii) Recent (less than 3 months old) utility bill, OR iii) Recent (less than 3 months old) bank or credit card statement, OR iv) Reference from a ‘respected professional’ (lawyer, accountant or manager/director of a regulated financial institution), who has known the person for at least 2 years.
Funds If the potential client is a fund, instead of item d), g) or j) and due diligence on investors, i.e. items i) through iv) as specified, an AML comfort letter is required from the fund’s administrator or transfer agent confirming that they are responsible for performing due diligence on the fund’s investors – we have a standard template available for this. Where the potential client has an entity as either a director or shareholder, documentation as outlined above is required for that type of entity. If the potential client is a regulated financial institution we may be exempt from collecting due diligence on it. Source of funds Please ensure that sufficient, relevant information on the source of funds to be deposited with banks is provided with the application form.
Bearer Shares Most banks are unable to provide services to entities that have issued bearer shares; these must either be immobilized or cancelled and reissued to persons. Entities that haven’t, but are capable of issuing bearer shares must undertake not to issue bearer shares, or upon their issue the account(s) will be frozen until the bearer shares are either immobilized or cancelled.
Certification/Notarization of Documents The certifier (notary public, lawyer, accountant, manager/director of a regulated financial institution, for example) is to attest that the documents are a true copy of the original, sign each document, print their name underneath, indicating their position or capacity and include a contact address and phone number.

http://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/database/Switzerland.xml

Overview of the Secrecy Jurisdiction
Summary
30 History as Secrecy Jurisdiction Since 1934 [Notes]
31 Development and Role as a Secrecy Jurisdiction [Notes]
The Swiss Bankers Association is boasting that “Switzerland is the world market leader in cross-border private banking with a share of 27% (USD 2,000 billion).” (SBA 2011: 4). This is echoed by INCSR in 2010: “Switzerland is one of the world’s largest offshore centers, with estimates that the country manages as much as one-third of an estimated $7 trillion of offshore money worldwide. While Switzerland’s banking industry offers the same account services for both residents and nonresidents, many Swiss banks offer additional offshore services, including permitting non-residents to form offshore companies to conduct business. However, Swiss commercial law does not recognize any offshore mechanism per se and its provisions apply equally to residents and nonresidents. In April 2009, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) placed Switzerland on its grey list of tax havens. The country was subsequently removed from the list in September 2009 after having renegotiated a series of Double Tax Agreements (DTAs). The agreements include provisions for extended administrative assistance in tax matters.” (INCSR 2010: 409).
With respect to money laundering, the INCSR writes: “Switzerland is a major international financial center. The country’s central geographic location, relative political, social, and monetary stability, the range and sophistication of financial services it provides, and its long tradition of bank secrecy not only contribute to Switzerland’s success as a major international financial center, but also continue to expose Switzerland to potential money laundering abuse. Media reports indicate criminals attempt to launder illegal proceeds in Switzerland from a wide range of criminal activities conducted worldwide. These illegal activities include, but are not limited to, financial crimes, narcotics trafficking, arms trafficking, organized crime, terrorist financing and corruption. Although both Swiss and foreign individuals or entities launder money in Switzerland, foreign narcotics trafficking organizations, often based in Russia, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, South America and West Africa, dominate the narcotics-related money laundering operations in Switzerland” (INCSR 2013: 193).
Moreover, “While generally well regulated, there are concerns about the use of casinos to launder money. One possible method involves the structuring of cash purchases of casino chips or tokens to avoid reporting requirements and subsequently redeeming the chips for checks drawn on, or wire transfers from, casino bank accounts. Corrupt casino employees also have facilitated drug money laundering activities” (Ibid.: 194). In addition, “Sports associations like the International Federation of Association Football or the International Olympic Committee are not businesses but associations. They do not pay taxes, and as associations, are exempted from the Swiss anti-corruption legal framework. The exception provided to these entities makes them more vulnerable to money laundering activity” (Ibid.: 195).
As to the particular weaknesses observed in Swiss anti-money laundering, Thelesklaf wrote in 2010: “Switzerland has made distinct progress in its combat against money laundering. Yet there are still significant gaps. For as long as Switzerland fails to close these, money laundering will remain a low-risk business for perpetrators.” (Thelesklaf 2010: 12). According to the author, notably non-banks are increasingly playing an important role: “Yet in Switzerland, the following branches and professions are not subject to the [Anti-Money Laundering] Act (so long as their role is ‘only’ consultative): dealers in valuable items (e.g. Art dealers), real estate agents, tax consultants, as well as investment consultants, trustees, lawyers and notaries. And here lies the snag: if the activities of the Basel trust company have been limited to consultancy for the purposes of establishing the holding company, they do not fall under the AMLA and the trust company is under no obligation to conduct the due diligence exercise and is not subject to monitoring for this activity. There is also no reporting requirement in the event of suspicion of money laundering.” (ibid.).
In addition, the INCSR reported in 2008: “Swiss bank accounts also figure in fraud and corruption of foreign government officials and heads-of-state. Recent examples of public figures that have been the subject of Swiss money laundering allegations or investigations include a former Kyrgyzstan President, a former Russian Minister of Atomic Energy, the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and former Haiti President Jean-Claude Duvalier. These individuals have Swiss bank accounts and have moved national funds to Switzerland for personal use. Swiss bank routinely screen PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons) accounts for illicit money transfers.” (INCSR 2008: 434, 435). The attraction of Switzerland for corruption-related money laundering appears not significantly diminished since 2008. According to Olivier Longchamp from the Declaration of Berne, this can be seen best by the recent freezing of billions of Francs of “dictator assets” from Egypt, Tunesia and Libya (Olivier Longchamp, Declaration of Berne).
The overall attraction of Switzerland from the viewpoint of international companies is summarized as follows: “Switzerland offers a very attractive tax environment, with key factors being: Low effective corporate and individual income tax rates; Extensive tax planning opportunities for holding, headquarter, management, trading, IP and finance companies; Cooperative and business minded tax authorities which issue binding rulings within weeks; Dividend income and capital gains on participations are generally tax exempt; No controlled foreign companies (CFC) rules; No withholding tax on interest and royalties; Extensive treaty network and agreements with the EU; Flexible reorganization rules.” (KPMG 2010: 11). The way in which this attraction is used in practice by multinational corporations for tax dodging in developing countries is explained in an ActionAid report on SABMiller (ActionAid 2010).
Switzerland is not only attractive for private wealth accumulation, but has its appeal also for corporations. KPMG describes why it sees Switzerland “as the perfect headquarter location” for international companies: “With its competitive and stable economy, its flexible and well-educated workforce, the strategic location, its attractive tax system and the high quality of life, Switzerland has traditionally been the preferred location for headquarters of many important international business organizations. This results in a disproportionate number of headquarters of international groups being located in Switzerland. During the time period 2003-2009 alone, over 250 headquarters were transferred from abroad to Switzerland, most of which have their corporate origin in the USA and Europe.” (KPMG 2010: 11).
Spear’s wrote in 2008 about the Swiss advantages: “The Swiss system does not immediately appear enticing: it is a morass of different levels of authority (federal, cantonal, municipal) that impose their own rules. Indeed, there is no centralised tax regime. But the advantage is that the cantons compete to attract business, as seen in 2006 when Obwalden cut its corporation tax to 6.6 per cent and others followed. […] Setting up a domiciliary company so your business can be managed from abroad is simple. By definition, the business is allowed no physical presence in Switzerland and cantonal corporation tax may even be waived. Daniel Gremaud, the leader of tax and legal services in western Switzerland for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, says that it is not tax itself that sets Switzerland apart. “It has an advantage because it’s not in the EU, yet is there another country where you speak English, French, German and Italian? In competition with Ireland, Luxembourg and the new EU nations of Eastern Europe, Switzerland’s centrality and long-term adaptation to business needs make it a first-class choice.” (Spear’s WMS).
In terms of different flavours of secrecy available in Switzerland, the Global Forum writes: “Three applicable forms of secrecy are found in Swiss Law: bank secrecy; professional secrecy, that applies to certain classes of people including lawyers; and secret de fonction, applying to persons exercising roles of a public character” (GF 2011: 62). Besides, until 2009 the Swiss wire transfer regulations displayed a specialty which made it possible for anonymous wire transfers to be received legally in Switzerland. The INCSR noted about this in 2008: “The 2002 Banking Commission regulations mandate that all cross-border wire transfers must contain identifying details about the funds’ remitters, though banks and other covered entities may omit such information for ‘legitimate reasons’. The Swiss Federal Banking Commission has said that there are no plans at the moment to follow EU regulations aimed at registering names, addresses, and account numbers of everyone making even small money transfers between EU member states.” (INCSR 2008: 435-436). This loophole, however, has been closed with effect from 1 January 2009 (FATF 2009: 53-54).
The OECD (OECD 2010: 213) reports that Swiss residents are allowed to administer foreign law trusts and Lowtax.net reports further that: “The trust business is witnessing rapid growth in Switzerland, having more than doubled in size over the past five years. In 2007, as well, Switzerland ratified the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition. The Swiss Association of Trust Companies was being officially launched on Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, in Zurich and on Wednesday, 12 September in Geneva, in a bid ‘to encourage the professional and ethical development of an industry in full expansion in Switzerland’.” (Lowtax.net).
As to the current developments on Swiss tax information exchange (EOI), “In February 2011, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Finance publicly declared that Switzerland interprets all treaties which included a new EOI provision similar to Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention (29 such treaties signed to date) in such a way that the information will also be given where the person under investigation is identified by other means than name and address or where the requesting State does not know the name and address of the holder of the information. However fishing expeditions remain prohibited.” (GF 2011: 18).
Referring also to EOI, Mark Herkenrath from Alliance Sud reports that over the last two years, Switzerland has made some progress: “It is important to note, however, that concessions have only been made upon massive international pressure. Pro-active measures to provide transparency in tax matters are still missing, even though a growing number of citizens and parliamentarians are calling for such measures. 1) In the new or revised bilateral DTAs, tax information exchange is only provided on an on-request basis, i.e. in accordance with the weak OECD standard, while the Swiss government is still strongly opposing any move towards automatic information exchange. 2) Developing and emerging-market countries with insufficient political or economic influence over Switzerland have so far been excluded from the network of new or revised Swiss DTAs. With Georgia and Tajikistan, Switzerland signed new DTAs in 2010 without any provision for tax information exchange. 3) The Swiss government also refuses to sign the revised version of the joint OECD/CoE multilateral agreement on administrative assistance in tax matters. 4) According to a recent federal act, Swiss tax authorities do not provide international administrative assistance if they suspect that the request is made on the basis of “stolen” data CDs. This has been criticized, albeit not very prominently, in the peer review report by the Global Forum on Transparency as inconsistent with the principle of effective information exchange (see GF 2011: 58, §183). 5) The Global Forum peer review report also criticizes several other inconsistencies with the principle of effective information exchange.” (see GF 2011: 91-94; Mark Herkenrath, AllianceSud).
On ‘Black-Lists’ of
32 International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation 1977 Yes [Notes]
33 Charles Irish 1982 Yes [Notes]
34 Hines Rice 1994 Yes [Notes]
35 IMF 2000 No [Notes]
36 OECD 2000 Yes [Notes]
37 FSF 2000 Yes [Notes]
38 FATF 2000 / 2002 No [Notes]
39 Tax Justice Network 2005 Yes [Notes]
40 Zoromé 2007 (IMF) Yes [Notes]
41 Stop Tax Havens Act (USA) 2007 Yes [Notes]
42 Lowtax.net 2008 Yes [Notes]
43 OECD April 2009 No [Notes
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