Open a Bank Account in Switzerland

open bank account sw.webp
07.02.2018 Guido Fiorentini Feedback

When establishing a company in Switzerland one of the most important first steps an entrepreneur must take is opening a Swiss bank account. The Swiss banking system is one of the worlds most impressive with its fabled privacy policies and stability.

Banking secrecy

Switzerland's banking system is known for its secrecy which makes it a haven for investors to store their investment incomes and other valuables. Although the Swiss banking system is multiple times more private than other countries, it doesn't offer boundless privacy. If illegal activity is suspected, authorities will be handed access to investigate account information. New double taxation treaties also mean that Switzerland shares information with partner states.

In Switzerland, similar to other nations, bank accounts must be linked to a name and a beneficiary and not be anonymous. To add extra privacy, Swiss banks give their customers access to creating a numbered account to safeguard their personal information – so instead of using personal information, a transaction can be completed with a code. These types of accounts are typically more expensive to open and require deposits of over $100,000, as well as ongoing $300 maintenance costs.

Banking Service

There are 26 cantons (similar to states) in Switzerland with 24 of them having cantonal banks. These banks are regulated by cantonal laws.

A 2011 survey by revealed that in Switzerland there are 312 active banks, with over 3,000 branches. There are also 13 private banks in Switzerland, which are some of the oldest in the nation and hold and manage assets for private clients.


In Switzerland, one must be over 18 years old to open a bank account. Although if a bank suspects any illegal activity they can refuse to open an account. Banks can also refuse to open an account if the origin of funds destined for the account is questionable or the owner is "politically exposed" as that could affect the bank's reputation. Certified identification information is also required.

To open a Swiss bank it is preferred that the future owner open the bank account in person, but if it is not possible there are other options, which includes correspondence with the bank.

The following bank types are available to clients:

  • Personal accounts: A simple standard account which can be used for salary deposits, payments and secure transactions.
  • Investment accounts
  • Savings accounts: used for saving money and acquiring interest.

Bank accounts can be opened with all major currencies including the Swiss franc, US Dollar, Euro or Sterling. Once a bank account is opened, there are no requirements for a minimum balance, although once the bank holder begins to deposit cash, there are minimum balances which are required to be met depending on the bank.

Closing the account

At any time a Swiss bank account can be liquidated and incurs no costs. All money can be immediately withdrawn.

For further assistance in opening a Swiss bank account or further information, contact our consultants.

What Is The Reason Behind Hiring A Bankruptcy Attorney To Discharge Your Tax Debts?

Check answers of our experts.


We have been in business for more than 10 years and are experienced in resolving many clients' issues. From opening a company in Switzerland and obtaining holding status to debt collection domestically and internationally (enforcement of Court orders).

You can expect fast responses and high-quality services when you choose us.

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work permit switzerl
Alexander M. Germany

Setting up a company in Switzerland and relocation.

An EU citizen has decided to move to Switzerland to continue his business activities. He was unhappy about paying taxes, and his place of vital interest was in Switzerland.

Marvin S Britain

To establish a company with a legal entity (UK) as the founder.

We prepared all the necessary documents and helped to explain how the Companies House details should be submitted. We appointed a local managing director and registered the representative office with the trade register of the canton of Zug.

open catering busine
Evelin V. South Africa

To obtain a licence to recruit personnel.

The client has been living in Switzerland for some time and has decided to start a recruitment company. As this requires a special permit from SECO, we prepared all the necessary draft documents and went through all the procedures with the client. As a result, the licence was granted.


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