Banking in Switzerland

About Switzerland

Switzerland is in the European Alps. Half the country is hills and the rest is plateau. Switzerland has a federal state government and the official languages include German, French, Italian and Romansch, which makes banking in Switzerland suitable for these nationalities. Many residents of Switzerland are bilingual, and English is widely spoken throughout the country. The diversity and use of these common languages, makes Switzerland excellent for international banking.

Living in Switzerland is considered to be a high-quality lifestyle.  Most of the population are well educated, and many foreigners actually travel to study within Switzerland. Businesses often use the country as a test market for new products they want to introduce into Europe, and international affairs are common within this country. These aspects present a great need for a diverse range of banking services in Switzerland, including student and business banking.

Banking Secrecy in Switzerland

Switzerland has a reputation around the world for holding bank accounts and implementing laws that promote banking secrecy. This fact is true and in 1934 the banking tradition of secrecy that stemmed back to the middle ages, was rectified in law. Many Hollywood movies feature Swiss bank accounts in crime or money laundering stories, although if you are planning on banking in Switzerland, it is highly advisable not to follow your favourite movie plot, but to research extensively the current laws of the country at the time.


Banking secrecy is not always associated with crime. Many businesses and individuals value secrecy, and the other banking services that Switzerland can offer as a country, for entirely legitimate reasons. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority regulates all banks within Switzerland.

Major Banks in Switzerland


UBS AG is the major bank in Switzerland, and was established in the early 1800’s. It now has banks in over 40 countries, and offices in 50 countries around the world. It serves international customers for private and corporate banking and also offers a variety of other services, including wealth management, investment banking, retail banking, and asset management.

Credit Suisse Group

The Credit Suisse Group is a financial services company that has its main offices located in Zurich, and on an international level it provides services to more than 50 countries worldwide. Within Switzerland, The Credit Suisse Group has more than 250 branches.

Swiss Currency

The currency used in Switzerland is the franc, and it can also be used under some circumstances in other European countries. Exchanging the franc is usually not a problem within Europe, but to exchange it elsewhere in the world, you may need to travel to major currency exchange establishments. The ISO code for currency in Switzerland is CHF although Fr is also in use.

Travelling and business banking in Switzerland

Switzerland is an easy country to get around, and technology is advanced. You will find that are interpreters are available, depending on your own language, and if you speak English you shouldn’t have a problem. Switzerland is well established with a variety of facilities and an extensive range of banking services for international customers, including businesses, students and travellers. Internet banking, credit cards, debit cards, telephone banking and other technological banking services are all available in Switzerland. You will also find it very easy to transfer money, or deal with neighbouring European countries in banking. If you are planning on travelling to Switzerland, it is still advisable to research your finances and any restrictions that my apply to you, before you arrive there.