Guide to open Swiss Bank account - options available
There are over 350 authorized banks and securities dealers in Switzerland, ranging from the "Two Big Banks" down to small banks serving the needs of a single community or a few special clients.
UBS and Credit Suisse are respectively the largest and second largest Swiss banks and account for over 50% of all deposits in Switzerland; each has extensive branch networks throughout the country and most international centres.
Due to their size and complexity, UBS and Credit Suisse are subject to an extra degree of supervision from the Federal Banking Commission
UBS came into existence in June 1998, when Union Bank of Switzerland, founded in 1862, and Swiss Bank Corporation, founded in 1872, merged. Headquartered in Zurich and Basel, it is Switzerland's largest bank. It maintains seven main offices around the world (four in the United States and one each in London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong) and branches on five continents
Credit Suisse is the second-largest Swiss bank. Based in Zurich, it was founded in 1856; its market capitalization is $95.2 billion, and the company has about 40,000 employees. Credit Suisse Group offers private banking, investment banking and asset management services.
Private banks – Private bankers The term private bank refers to a bank that offers private banking services and in its legal form is a partnership. The first private banks were created in St. Gallen in the mid 18th century and in Geneva in the late 18th century as partnerships, and some are still in the hands of the original families such as Hottinger and Mirabaud. In Switzerland, such private banks are called private bankers (a protected term) to distinguish them from the other private banks which are typically shared corporations. Historically in Switzerland a minimum of Francs 1 million was required to open an account, however, over the last years many private banks have lowered their entry hurdles to Francs 250,000 for private investors
There are, 24 cantonal banks; these banks are state-guaranteed semi-governmental organizations controlled by one of Switzerland's 26 cantons that engage in all banking businesses. The largest cantonal bank, the Zurich Cantonal Bank, had a 2005 net income of CHF 810 million