Opening a Swiss Bank Account

Understand what is required to open a bank account in Switzerland...

Opening a bank account in Switzerland is in theory accessible to all, but banks do reserve the right to refuse customers. Recent clamp-downs on money laundering and other financial crimes have made it more difficult, especially for non-residents, to open bank accounts.

If you are working in Switzerland and wish to open a bank account in order to pay your salary into it and have a credit or debit card you will need the following papers:

  • Passport or identity card
  • Recent utility bill (electricity)
  • Residence permit
  • A copy of your work contract
  • Cross border workers, a copy of your permis frontalier/Grenzgaengerbewilligung (cross border work permit)

It is not necessary to make an appointment to open a current account. Opening an account can be done in a day and methods of making payments (cash cards) will usually arrive within a week to ten days of the account being opened.

Cheque books will take longer to arrive as banks usually request at least two pay slips before issuing a cheque book.

Most banks do not fix a minimum amount to be deposited if it is for a simple current or savings account. This can be different for banks offering Private Banking services.

In general banks are open from Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 16:30, and are closed at weekends and on public holidays.