You’d think it’d be easy. Walk in to the bank. Tell them you have some money. Sign up for an account.
Sorry, not that simple.
First of all, walk in to the bank. What bank?? There are so many choices! Credit Suisse? Raiffaisen? A cantonal bank? A local bank? The post office? Because yes, the post office is (among other things) a bank. Go figure.
Second, for those of you who want one of those anonymous accounts… sorry, they don’t exist anymore! Banks know the identity of every one of their customers. But they won’t reveal your identify without your consent, so there’s still that…
Ok, so, you walk in to the bank to open an account. You tell them you have some money. Before you can open an account, they want to make sure you are a solid investment. They will ask for proof that you have money. That you have enough money to be worth their while. And they will verify that your moolah comes from an honest source.
Let’s say your money is good. If you are American, chances are you still won’t be able to open an account easily. Why, you ask?
“As Swiss bank accounts for US citizens require additional administrative work, many banks prefer to open these accounts only when large sums of money are involved.” Source
Unless you have large sums of money, forget it.
And Switzerland is even getting stricter with American account holders. This Time article from December 2013 explores some account closings… because the account owners were American. There is a lot of political and administrative back story to this. If you’re interested, I’d suggest you read the article!