Swiss Banking all you need to know -
Who can open a Swiss bank account?
In principle, any adult person can open an account at a bank in Switzerland. However, the legal provisions of the home country with regard to cross border business have to be respected. Banks reserve furthermore the right to reject customers. For example, a bank might refuse to offer banking services to a so-
Swiss Bankers Association (SBA)
The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) was founded in 1912 in Basel as a trade association and today has 347 institutional members (Raiffeisen banks are counting as one institute) and approximately 17'600 individual members. Self regulation organ and representative of the interests of banks in Switzerland, the SBA is one of the most important institutions of the Swiss Financial Centre. The Association’s Office employs a staff of 66. 11 commissions and associated working groups deal with key issues affecting the financial market policy. Serving on these commissions are some 700 representatives of various banking groups.
Swiss Banking Ombudsman
Any customer who has a dispute with his/her bank but does not want to go to court may contact the Swiss Banking Ombudsman, whose services are free of charge. The ombudsman is a neutral and independent office for resolving customer disputes. Although it has no powers of arbitration, it mediates between the parties to the dispute. Instead of prescribing a particular judgment, he recommends a legally not binding, negotiated solution. Nevertheless, the ombudsman successfully mediates in many cases.
SIX Group operates the competitive infrastructure underpinning the Swiss financial center, catering to an ever-
Swiss National Bank (SNB)
The SNB is the central bank of the Swiss Confederation, and it runs the country's monetary policy independently. It can act as lender of last resort, providing liquidity to Swiss banks if special conditions are met. However, unlike the Bank of England, for instance, it has no regulatory powers -
Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority
The FINMA is responsible for the regulatory supervision of banks, exchanges, securities traders and collective investment schemes. It grants new banks authorization to begin conducting business and supervises them continuously through statutory auditors. In the event of a violation of law or other abuses, the FINMA can order appropriate corrective measures. If the case is serious enough, it can withdraw the bank's operating permit.
Financial intermediaries without bank status
In addition to the banks and their various bodies, the Swiss financial sector also plays host to financial intermediaries without bank status. These intermediaries, which are regulated by a special federal authority, include the management companies of Swiss investment funds (under the Investment Fund Act), life insurance companies (under the Insurance Supervision Act) and securities traders (under the Stock Exchange Act). A number of other financial intermediaries are only subject to the Money Laundering Act. These include anyone who looks after other people's assets or helps to invest or transfer them, such as asset managers, brokers, bureaux de changes, lawyers, credit card companies etc.Independent asset managers in particular form a large and important group. They are brought together in the Swiss Association of Asset Managers (SAAM) VSV. The total assets under management by SAAM members is estimated at CHF 375bn, which equates to 13% of all assets under management in Switzerland. Independent asset managers maintain close relations with one or more banks, the banks serving as custody banks for the clients’ assets.
PostFinance is another non-