Popular Posts

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How To Open A Swiss Bank Account

In Europe, the US dollar is now referred to as the "American Peso". It appears that the dollar keeping losing its value and purchasing power compared to other currencies around the world. If you want value and safety for your dollars,and you are concerned about the liquidity of your US bank, then perhaps you may want to keep a portion of your savings in Swiss francs. Under Swiss law, 40% of all Swiss francs must be backed by gold. But it's actually around 56%. That's what makes it one the most stable currerncies in the world. Several Swiss banks have offices in the US but they only offer accounts in US dollars or asset management for clients who have $200,000 or more to invest. If you want a "retail account" or a "numbered account", you must do it through the bank's headquarters in Switzerland. You can find bank names and contact information from the Swiss Bankers Association at www.swissbanking.org/en/home.htm Credit Suisse, http://www.credit-suisse.com/global/en/, and UBS are the two largest Swiss banks and they control 50% of the bank market share in Switzerland. They also have the most branches around the world. Once you've picked a bank, you can apply by mail or go directly to the bank in Switzerland. The minimum to open an account is usually $250. Forms and applications vary among banks, but for a mail application, you'll need a send a signature cettification form and an authenticated copy of your passport. If you ever have to report a problem with your Swiss account, you can contact the bank's legal department and file a complaint. If your claim is denied, you can contact a mediator at www.bankingombudsman.ch/english If you still get no satisfaction and want to sue, you'll need a Swiss lawyer. You can search for one at www.swisslawyers.com As a US citizen, you can have a bank account anywhere in the world. However, as a US citizen, you are required to report income from those accounts on your tax return. Besides reporting your bank account income to the IRS, you must also disclose the existence of those foreign bank accounts to the US Treasury Department. For more information, consult the IRS, the Treasury Department, your accountant or tax attorney.