Why Are Swiss Banks Famous and Popular? The Important Things to Know

why are swiss banks famous popular banking switzerland privacy

So many people trust and use Swiss bank accounts that Swiss bank assets are worth almost five times the entire gross domestic product of the country.

Swiss banks are very strong contenders for the safest place in the world to keep your money. But why are Swiss banks famous, and what makes them so attractive to those who are careful with their money? 

This quick review will show you everything you need to know about Swiss banks, and how you can use them yourself.

Why are Swiss Banks Famous?

People keep their money in Switzerland because the banks focus on privacy and security.

Privacy means they won't even disclose whether you have an account with them. Security means that they won't let anyone take your money out of your account, not even at the request of the government.

Unless you have committed a crime or are holding your money in another improper way, your account is safe.

In almost any other banking system in the world, the government would be able to control your account much more easily. In other banking systems, even loan companies and other groups can potentially access your money.

How to Open a Swiss Bank Account 

Secret bank accounts in Switzerland play a glamorous role in movies and on TV. This might make you think that the Swiss only provide private banks for millionaires. It may surprise you how easy it is for almost anyone to open a safe, secure Swiss bank account.

Opening an account in Switzerland is almost as easy as opening a bank account in your own country. As long as you are 18 years of age or older, you are a candidate for a Swiss bank account.

Like any other bank, you'll need to provide some identification to a Swiss bank to open your account. Here, things can be slightly more difficult.

You may need to provide your passport, tax returns and more to open your account. Swiss banks have to make sure you aren't taking advantage of the security and privacy they provide. As a result, you will need documentation to show that your money comes from legitimate sources.

There is no minimum balance required to open your Swiss bank account. However, once you've deposited your money, you will probably have to leave a minimum balance in your account.

How are Swiss Bank Accounts So Safe?

The Swiss have almost designed their whole economy and even their whole country around being able to provide safe, stable banking. Their investment has certainly paid off. As mentioned earlier, rich bank accounts in Switzerland are worth many times more than the nation's gross domestic product.

Along with refusing to give up your information or money, Swiss bank accounts offer a 100% reimbursement guarantee to their patrons. 

Many Swiss Banks belong to the Swiss Banker's Association and follow its rules. If one of the affiliated banks loses your money, the Swiss Banker's Association will reimburse your total lost amount.

Most modern currencies have switched away from the gold standard to a legal tender system. While a legal tender system has some advantages, it doesn't have the same iron-clad stability of gold.

The value of Swiss currency is backed by 40% or more in gold reserves at all times. For this reason and others, the Swiss franc has some of the lowest inflation in the world.

A Secure Culture

The Swiss country, in general, plays a safe and stable game that allows it to achieve stable and reliable returns. They have a stable population and stable culture due to slow population growth and low immigration rates. They have kept out of wars and weathered difficult financial times better than many of their neighbors.

Nations around the world have tried to pressure Switzerland to give them access to the banking information of their citizens, but Switzerland has repeatedly resisted. They protect their banks, and that means protecting the accounts of people with Swiss bank accounts.

For many years, it has been a serious crime in Switzerland for a bank employee to disclose the information of account holders. In 1934, Switzerland passed the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks to ensure the privacy and security of their accounts. Since then, only 4 people have violated Switzerland's banking secrecy laws.

Even before 1934, the Swiss had strong customs about banking security that extended back for centuries. Over so much time, secure banking has become a defining feature of Swiss culture.

At the level of bank policy, the level of bank group policy, the level of culture, and the level of national policy, Switzerland is designed from top to bottom to provide a near foolproof system to provide absolute safety to its account holders.

While Swiss banks are extremely safe, they're not always the most convenient. Most foreigners who use Swiss bank accounts use them to store their wealth in the long term, not to make their everyday purchases at the grocery store. You may want to have another bank account close to home for ordinary expenses.

Environmental Consideration

Many Swiss banks are also becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. Capital Finance International is a news organization that also assesses banks based on their efforts to reduce their emissions and otherwise act in an environmentally sustainable way. 

Capital Finance International named UBS as the Best Green Bank in Switzerland because of the efforts they have already made to reach their goal of sourcing all their energy consumption from renewable sources.

Quality Banking

Why are Swiss banks famous? They provide what may be the best banking service in the world along with security, privacy, and anonymity.

New Frugal Finance Blog Posts & Articles