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Harbor Financial Services can help you open one of the most coveted offshore bank accounts in the world: An offshore Swiss bank account.

Banking privacy became the law in Switzerland in 1934. Since then, Switzerland has become home to nearly one-third of the world's wealth. Swiss banking combines stringent privacy laws with one of the most solid and secure banking systems on the planet. It is no wonder that individuals and companies from all over the world seek out Swiss bank accounts to preserve, shelter and manage their wealth.

Privacy. Swiss privacy laws were enacted over 75 years ago primarily to preserve the confidentiality of Swiss banking clients who lived under the neighboring German government. Swiss privacy laws include strong penalties for any bank or individual who divulges client information to any third party. Additionally, Swiss courts do not recognize foreign judgments and will not lift secrecy laws for civil matters such as litigation or divorce cases. Needless to say, Switzerland has rightly earned a reputation as one of the world's most private locations.

Sophistication. In addition to privacy and security, Swiss banks offer sophisticated financial services. These include:

  • Bank accounts in numerous currencies
  • Multi-currency accounts (more than one currency may be held in an account)
  • Interest-bearing accounts in many currencies
  • Certificates of Deposit (CD's) in many currencies
  • Accounts in the name of an offshore company or trust for maximum privacy
  • Investments in nearly every market in the world
  • Professional investment management
  • The ability to privately purchase and store precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum
  • Private, offshore debit cards
  • Bank representatives that regularly deal with world-wide clientele and are fluent in many languages

For maximum privacy: Open a Swiss bank account in the name of an offshore company.

HFS recommends that clients open Swiss accounts in the name of an offshore corporation, rather than in their personal name. There are two specific reasons for this:

1. Opening a personal Swiss bank account will provide a moderate level of privacy and safety. However, because the account is opened in the personal name of the client, any transactions (wire transfers, debit card purchases, checks, etc.) conducted with the account will be in the client's own name. This may very well negate any privacy gained by opening a Swiss account.

2. Opening a Swiss bank account in the name of an offshore corporation (also known as an International Business Corporation or IBC) allows the client to conduct all banking transactions (wire transfers, checks, etc.) in the name of a private offshore company, rather than his/her own personal name. This provides a significant level of privacy that cannot be obtained with a personal account. Using an offshore company's name to conduct Swiss banking rather than his/her personal name ensures that the client's privacy is protected. Additionally, there are many other benefits to forming an offshore company. The client may make investments in the name of the offshore company, purchase real estate and vehicles in the company's name and carry out business transactions in the company's name. For more information about offshore companies visit Offshore 101.

Minimum Deposit: The minimum deposit to open a Swiss bank account is $500,000 or the equivalent in another currency. If that amount is out of a client's range, there are many excellent offshore banking options with minimum deposits as low as $1000 or less. There are some offshore banks that don't have a minimum deposit requirement at all. Even if a client has a small amount of money to begin with, HFS can open a private and secure offshore account for him/her. Visit the Services and Fees page to see the list of banks and minimum deposit requirements.

Do I have to travel? No. Clients do not have travel to Switzerland to open a Swiss bank account.

What is the process for opening a Swiss bank account?

1. Choose the Swiss account from the list of banks on our website and place an order. For maximum privacy we recommend the account be opened in the name of an offshore company. An offshore company and a Swiss bank account may be ordered from the Services and Fees page. You may also Contact Us and place an order over the phone.

2. When HFS receives an order for an account, we will assemble the application and send it to you. The application comes with instructions and will need to be completed, signed and returned to HFS. The application is highlighted in each place that needs to be filled in (e.g. with your address or signed). When we receive the completed application back from a client, we will review the application and then forward it to the Swiss bank. The Swiss bank will then open the account and send the account number and wiring instructions to you.

3. Once the account has been opened, you may make the initial deposit via wire transfer. Once the money is in your Swiss account you may then withdraw it using a debit card or wire transfer.

Numbered Accounts. A Swiss "numbered account" is an account that is primarily operated using only an account number rather than a name. However, the account is in fact opened in the name of an individual or company, but the name of the account holder is known only to a few persons at the bank. While a numbered account could theoretically grant some measure of additional privacy, an easier approach is to open an account in the name of an offshore company.


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