Top List of Banks in Switzerland
Switzerland has long been an attractive destination for ex-pats, and it’s not hard to see why. The country is home to four official languages, a strong economy, and high quality of life. Many of the best banks in Switzerland have a long history and were founded more than 100 years ago. Despite the country's small size, the Swiss banking sector is very sizable, with total assets estimated at around 7 trillion CHF (7.3 trillion USD).
If your job brings you to Switzerland, one of the first things you will need to do is open a bank account. To help you get started on this process, we’ve rounded up the best banks in Switzerland to consider.
The largest bank in Switzerland and one of the biggest in the world, UBS manages assets worth over US$3.49 trillion (2020), employs over 71,551 people around the world, and has offices in over 50 countries. It was formed from a merger between Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation in 1998.
UBS offers high net worth and affluent individuals worldwide a complete range of tailored advice and investment services. It provides corporations, governments and institutions with investment banking, sales, trading and market-making services worldwide.
Credit Suisse Group AG
Switzerland-based Credit Suisse Group AG (CSG) is a global financial services company that provides investment banking, private banking, and asset management services. The company primarily operates in Switzerland, Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific. In addition to providing a range of banking services for individuals and companies, CSG offers a range of investment products and services for clients who want to invest in stocks, bonds and equities.
Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) was founded in 1856; the bank has a global reach with operations in more than 50 countries and 47,860 employees from over 170 different nations. With total assets of about 893 billion CHF (Q3 2020)
With origins stretching back to 1890, Julius Baer has written banking history for over 125 years. With a growing workforce of around 6,667 employees worldwide, the Bank is present in over 20 countries and more than 50 locations. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, it has a majority stake in Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd., Singapore, and representative offices in key financial centres such as Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Milan, New York and Tokyo.
Julius Baer is the leading Swiss private banking group focused on servicing and advising sophisticated private clients and a premium brand in global wealth management. Julius Baer’s total client assets amounted to CHF 113.578 billion (2021).
Raiffeisen Switzerland was founded in 1888, although its roots go back to 1862 and the founding of the Raiffeisen co-operative movement. The bank has over 485 branches across Switzerland and subsidiaries and holdings in Liechtenstein, Poland, Romania, and other countries. The bank currently has assets worth $229 billion with 9,215 employees.
Raiffeisen Switzerland offers customers a diverse range of financial products and services, including mortgages, investment funds, and loans for individuals and businesses.
Zurich Cantonal Bank
Zurich Cantonal Bank is the most prominent and wealthiest cantonal bank in Switzerland. It has total assets of about CHF 76 billion. Zurich Cantonal Bank provides banking products and services to private individuals and companies. The company offers asset management, investment advisory, pension fund management, securities trading, wealth management, financial planning, brokerage, insurance, and traditional banking services.
Zurich Cantonal Bank also operates a network of 189 branches across Switzerland and has 5,087 employees.
Banque cantonale de Genève (BCGE)
Banque cantonale de Genève (BCGE) is a Swiss cantonal bank. It offers financial services to corporate and private clients. The Bank's range of products and services includes business accounts, loans, investments and securities.
The balance sheet totals CHF 40 billion, and the bank employs over 1,300 staff. BCGE operates around 50 branch offices throughout Switzerland.
EFG International (EFGN.SW) is a global private banking group offering personalised solutions and services to private, institutional, and corporate clients worldwide, focusing on wealth planning, multi-asset investing, investment solutions, and asset management.
EFG International employs around 3,300 people in more than 30 locations worldwide, delivering a unique global service to private clients from around the world. EFG International has total consolidated assets of 40.64 million CHF.
Basler Kantonalbank (BKB) is the leading retail bank in the Canton of Basel-Stadt and one of Switzerland's largest cantonal banks. With total assets of 24.08 billion CHF in 2017 and 1,284 employees, BKB is also one of Switzerland's most critical regional banks.
The bank has a strong market position throughout Switzerland thanks to its comprehensive range of financial services, high quality, and customer proximity. In addition to servicing private customers, it also provides services to SMEs, independent asset managers, and institutional clients.
Migros Bank AG
Migros Bank is one of Switzerland's six "pillar banks"; it is a retail bank founded in 1934 as the banking subsidiary of Migros, with over 1 million customers and roughly 1,335 employees. As of 2015, Migros Bank held 42.2 billion CHF in assets, making it the fifth-largest Swiss retail bank by assets.
The bank offers retail financial services in German- and French-speaking Switzerland: consumer loans, mortgages, and savings accounts. It does not provide investment or private banking services. It also specialises in corporate finance for the retail industry, including leasing products for Migros members.
Bank J. Safra Sarasin
Bank J. Safra Sarasin is a Swiss private bank founded in 1841, and the bank offers a high level of services and expertise to private and institutional investors. In 2019 the bank won the world’s best private bank for social responsibility award.. The bank employs around 2,178 people and has total assets amounting to CHF 164.6 billion (2018). Bank operates through five segments: Private Banking, Trading and family segment, Asset management, product and sales management, and corporate centre segment.
Frequently asked questions about Swiss banking that may help you get started.
Q: What types of accounts can I open?
A: You can open a range of accounts, including checking, savings and investment accounts. You can also apply for loans and mortgages. Some banks offer credit cards and insurance products.
Q: How do I transfer money from my existing bank account to my Swiss account?
A: Simply ask your old bank for a SWIFT transfer. A SWIFT code is an international bank code that identifies the recipient bank. Your new Swiss bank will be able to provide you with its code.