"Dear client, we regret to inform you that your account is among those affected by our decision to retreat from some markets and segments and that we, therefore, terminate your bank relationship with us."
Many Swiss abroad received such letters from their bank as lenders took stock of their client relationships after the financial crisis. Maybe you are lucky and the bank “only” increased its fees. Maybe you were told that by putting up at least a million francs you will kindly be allowed to remain their valued customer. Most likely, though, they will give you a couple of months' notice and tell you to find another financial institution.
Soliswiss - Cooperative of Swiss Abroad has been closely monitoring this development. We put the benefits for Swiss abroad first. As a non-profit organization, set-up as a cooperative, serving members at low cost is our mission. This is reflected in the low annual membership fee, as well as by consistently offering high value insurance coverage and financial services at the lowest cost possible. The most basic financial need is building and hopefully growing of a “nest-egg” in Switzerland (in hard Swiss francs). These savings should be available to cover financial bottlenecks while abroad or as savings for retirement. Soliswiss wants to help members close financial gaps or even create a stand-alone safety net to make sure that old age won't turn into a nightmare.
This is not as easy as it sounds. For Swiss in some countries like USA, Canada or countries with US embargo, it is difficult to have a bank relationship in Switzerland at all. Most banks nowadays will only accept customers domiciled either in Switzerland or in the neighboring EU countries.
A recent survey by the Association of Swiss Abroad shows that a few cantonal banks are still willing to accept customers from the neighboring EU countries, and in a very few cases also outside of Europe. Almost none of the banks accept US persons. Annual account fees are substantial and in many cases there is a minimum deposit.
Soliswiss is proud to announce that it can offer Swiss abroad in most countries a bank relationship with special member conditions with our partner banks, reputable financial institutions regulated by Finma, with the possibility of a credit card and a managed investment portfolio. Soliswiss is a licensed asset manager and can help you retain your money in Switzerland at low cost. A solution for setting up a retirement fund in Swiss Francs can even be offered to Soliswiss members living in the USA or Canada through the Soliswiss Group Pension Plan. For more information visit www.soliswiss.ch.
Dr. Richard Vögeli