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How do I Open a Swiss Bank Account?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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It is relatively easy to open a Swiss bank account, and you don't have to be rich or have a reason to hide your money to do so. Essentially, Swiss laws have one major requirement for those who wish to open a Swiss bank account: an account holder must be at least 18 years old. Besides that law, there aren't many other regulations, and a person can open a Swiss bank account using just about any type of currency, including United States dollars, euros, Swiss francs and others. In many cases, there's not even a specific minimum opening deposit. However, this can vary depending on the particular bank's rules, as can the minimum balance required to keep the account open.

In most cases, an application to open a Swiss bank account will be processed and accepted without a problem. However, Swiss banks may reject applications because the origin of the money to be deposited is somehow suspicious or seems unclear. An application may also be rejected if the origin of the money violates regulations established by Swiss laws. For example, strict regulations are in place to prevent money laundering and other schemes that are illegal according to the laws of Switzerland as well as many other countries.

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It may be easiest to open a Swiss bank account in person. However, there are many Swiss banks that allow people to open accounts via the mail or facsimile. There are even some businesses that work to help others set up Swiss bank accounts from afar.

To open a Swiss bank account, you may be asked provide authentic copies of official documents. This requirement is typically to prove the origin of the money and your identity. For example, you may be asked to provide copies of your passport as well as proof of your occupation, such as a tax return or professional license. You may also be asked to provide proof of where you obtained the money you're depositing, if not from your job. For example, such proof could include documents detailing the sale of property or winnings from the lottery; you'll also have to prove your date of birth and your official address.

If you choose to open a Swiss bank account by mail, the application you need will be sent to you, and you'll have to mail it back, along with copies of the required documents. You also have to sign the application. If you open your bank account in person, you will still have to sign the application and provide your documents; you may also be asked to present a certified copy of your passport that has an apostille, which is a seal of authentication. Usually, apostilles can be obtained from notaries public. Though most banks in the United States accept a driver's license as identification, this is not the case with Swiss banks; you will have to provide an authentic copy of your passport.

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