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How to Open a Swiss Bank Account

In this article, we discuss Swiss bank establishment and use. Many people set up Swiss bank accounts for financial privacy and personal asset protection. We have relationships with some of the leading banks in Switzerland, so call or complete a consultation form if you need assistance.

Swiss Bank Account

The following page contains instructions, information, guidelines, advantages and tips about how to open a Swiss bank account.

Who can open a Swiss bank account?

Theoretically, anyone can open a Swiss bank account. Swiss banks have reputations of strength, safety and integrity. So, as expected, they have a duty to accept only clients who they feel will not injure the reputation, safety and integrity of the bank itself or the Swiss banking industry, in general.

You will need to give the bank reasonable evidence that the source of your potential funds come from legitimate, legal sources. The law forbids a Swiss bank from opening an account if they know or suspect that the proceeds are from criminal activity.

In addition, you can open a Swiss bank account inside of your own corporation or limited liability company. We can form the company that holds the account in almost any jurisdiction worldwide. It does not need not be a Swiss entity.

Sophisticated and knowledgeable Swiss bank account holders, who desire substantial privacy, do just this. They hold their accounts in their offshore company names. A common jurisdiction in which to form the offshore company for the purpose of owning a Swiss bank account is the Caribbean island of Nevis. A Nevis limited liability company (LLC) offers a respectable combination of legal protection and privacy.

Why? It is because money transfers into banks usually leave electronic or paper trails. What do you accomplish when you wire your money into a Swiss bank account inside of a company? Enhanced privacy. This is because the electronic trail will show that you wired the money to a company rather than to an account in your own individual name. The owner of the Nevis LLC remains private. Incidentally, we can form a Nevis LLC in about 24 hours.

For more free information, call us at 1-888-338-9868 or +1-661-253-3303.

How can I open a Swiss bank account without going there?

The best advice is to contact an organization (such as ours) with experience in opening Swiss bank accounts. Swiss banks have strict guidelines when it comes to opening accounts regardless of your home country. Recent “know your customer” laws have made the process more involved now than it was previously. Moreover, the regulations require the bank to identify the customer. So, they must see verified government documentation. Many banks in Switzerland will not open accounts for foreign residents. So, because there are several hundred banks that will turn you away, it is important to seek guidance.

Lawyers Limited, the company behind has been in business since 1906 and has years of experience in opening Swiss bank accounts. Lawyers Limited can help you quickly and easily open your account without leaving home.

For more information about opening a Swiss bank account without leaving home, call at 1-888-338-9868 or +1-661-253-3303.

How long will it take to open my account?

This depends on a number of items including the amount of time it takes you to complete and return the application and provide the required due diligence documents. Once you fulfill your requirements the bank usually opens the account within 48 hours to three weeks after they receive your application.

For more information about the time it takes to open a Swiss bank account or to begin the process of opening an account, call at 1-888-338-9868 or +1-661-253-3303. If you have a special situation that requires expedited service, we can accommodate most needs.

Can I open a Swiss bank account online?

No. The Swiss banks must follow customer identification procedures in order to comply with Swiss law. Therefore, at the present time, one must open a bank with some degree of human interaction. The Due Diligence Agreement (CDB 20), to which all Swiss banks must adhere, requires them to confirm the identity of the potential client. So, they must gather detailed information about the signers as well as information about the type of account desired.

For a free consultation, call at 1-888-338-9868 or +1-661-253-3303.

What information do I give to open the account?

First, you will need to complete the application that the bank requires. You do this in order to fulfill the legal requirements of the bank and to meet all of the bank’s due diligence and “know your customer” responsibilities. They will ask you to provide proof of identity of the owner of the assets. If you open the account in a company name, you must provide company documentation. In addition, you will need to provide the identity information of the person or people behind the company.

You will need to show proof of source of funds. Are you depositing money for someone else? If so, you will need to show proof of identity of the person for whom you are depositing funds. Alternatively, the bank may require you to first move the funds to one of your existing accounts. Thus, they may require you to wire the money from an account in your own name. This is to comply with anti-money laundering regulations. In addition, most bank require you to show evidence of your profession and your typical financial transactions.

For the bank to be able to offer you the best type of account for your needs, you will discuss your future plans; such as your intent to start a new business, sell a business, retire, or purchase real estate.

You will likely see the best historical returns in managed accounts. Thus, they will need to know financial growth objectives and your safety tolerances. The more you tell the bank about your desires the better they can help you meet your financial goals.

Which documents to I need to provide?

You will need to complete a bank account application. You will also need to show your identification. The banks prefer a face-to-face meeting. Lawyers Limited has agreements with many banks in Switzerland. In many cases, we can arrange to have the bank representative fly to you to meet with you. So, they can meet you in your home or place of business either before or shortly after the opening of your bank account.

As mentioned previously, regulations require Swiss banks to confirm the identity of their clients. So, naturally, the bank will need to see a current passport, driver’s license or other government issued identification documents. The bank may also need to see proof of source of funds. This may include the contract for the sale of a business, a recent bank statement from your existing bank or a receipt from the sale of stock.

Can I open an “anonymous” account?

Yes and no. You can open an account and enjoy the protection of the Switzerland bank secrecy and privacy laws. However, the bank must know who you are.

Can I open a “numbered” account?

A numbered Swiss bank account is where the account is not under one’s name but is assigned a number. Banks are very reluctant to open this type of account. So now most people who desire privacy open their account in the name of their own offshore company. As mentioned previously, one type of entity that provides substantial privacy is an LLC filed in the Caribbean island of Nevis. The Nevis LLC will then own the bank account in Switzerland. A company can be formed in Nevis in 24 hours or so.

There are unusual cases where a bank allows a numbered account. Even so, the one’s offshore company often owns numbered account rather than the one who opens the account. This will provide for additional privacy.

The way in which one opens a numbered account precisely the same as any other type of account. The bank must verify the identity of the account signer. Numbered accounts or accounts owned by one’s private offshore company are private to the outside world. However, the people within the bank will know the identity of person pulling the strings. So a numbered account offers no added secrecy over an account in one’s company name.

Lawyers Limited can help you open a Swiss numbered account and/or establish an offshore company for you that will own your Swiss bank account. Call for more free information at 1-888-338-9868 or +1-661-253-3303.

What is the minimum deposit?

For most banks there is a minimum of $500,000 US to $2.5 million US. However, some banks will open the account for $100,000 US or less. Most banks would like to see the potential to grow the account to the $1 million US mark or more.

In which currencies can I hold my Swiss bank account?

You can hold your account in US dollars, euros, Swiss francs, or other currencies.

How much interest will I earn on my money?

It depends on the kind of account you choose as well as the going interest rates and market conditions. Swiss managed accounts that invest in the stock market tend to show substantially better long-term returns. The provide a much better return than standard interest bearing accounts. Managed account returns are often in the range of 8-15% annually. Note that this is an estimate based on historical trends. So, this is neither a guarantee nor is it financial advice.

Which bank do you recommend?

It depends on your financial needs and the amount of capital you have available. Call Lawyers Limited, the company behind When you do, we can help you find a bank that meets your financial needs. Call us at 1-888-338-9868 or +1-661-253-3303.

How safe is a bank account in Switzerland?

All banks in Switzerland must have a Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC) license. The SFBC is a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, an international authority which sets guidelines for sound financial practice in the banking industry. The international body sets guidelines and if the Swiss regulators agree with the guidelines they are included in the Swiss code and are enforced by the SFBC. The SFBC implements regulations and oversees the entire Swiss banking industry according to Basel Committee’s requirements as well as local Swiss law.

The regulations dictate that the banks must keep adequate equity and capital on hand. The also prescribe a broad range of sound financial requirements and monetary discretion guidelines. Moreover, the laws in Switzerland command even higher capital requirements than those that the Basel Accord dictates. The capital requirement regulations are some of the highest worldwide. One can consider that Swiss bank accounts, therefore, are among the safest bank accounts worldwide.

How secret is a Swiss account?

Banks in Switzerland have long standing privacy laws to protect the identity of its account holders. Surveys taken of the Swiss public show that the vast majority of the populous wants to maintain the privacy laws. On the other hand, officials in Switzerland do not want to tarnish the country’s shiny reputation as a respected banking center. Therefore, as in any respectable jurisdiction, the Swiss banking system will not allow itself to be a safe haven for the proceeds of criminal activity. So, the regulars can suspend the privacy in a foreign criminal matter.

If so, first, officials would bring the case before a Swiss judge. If the judge in Switzerland determines that the crime is also a crime in Switzerland then the judge can suspend the privacy. Tax evasion is not a crime in Switzerland. So, they will not reveal information solely in the event of tax evasion. However, we still recommend in the strongest terms that you follow the tax laws of your jurisdiction.

The main secrecy benefit in possessing a Swiss bank account is the privacy offered when protecting money from civil litigation. In addition, if asset protection is your goal, you will want to hold your account inside of an international LLC. You hold your LLC, in turn, inside of an offshore asset protection trust for maximum legal protection.

For a free consultation, call at 1-888-338-9868 or +1-661-253-3303. 

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