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I've just looked at HSBC's offering for a Swiss currency account and they're offering a big fat 0% on deposits.

Anyone know of any alternative Swiss banks to use ?

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I've just looked at HSBC's offering for a Swiss currency account and they're offering a big fat 0% on deposits.

Anyone know of any alternative Swiss banks to use ?

Poste Finance (Swiss post office)

There are no great rates available though.

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I've just looked at HSBC's offering for a Swiss currency account and they're offering a big fat 0% on deposits.

Anyone know of any alternative Swiss banks to use ?

You will never get a good return on Swiss Francs regardless of the fact that interest rates currently are low worldwide, because Switzerland has very low inflation and has always in the distant past had low rates. I have an account with Post Finance but you may find it difficult to open one unless you either live in there or in a neighboring country and near enough Switzerland (ie. Rhones-Alpes rather than Bretagne). They let me open an account (years ago) because I had an address (my mum, where I grew up) quite near (1.5hrs drive from Geneva).

Got all the paperwork sent to me (by post, to the french address) and once it was all filled in simply went to a Post Finance branch (at Geneva airport where I usually fly to from the UK) with my IDs but also because I wanted to see for myself.

I am very impressed with Post Finance (and probably with Swiss Banks in general), the account is secure, the staff helpful and international transfers very easy to do, all very good and efficient. I get some return on it but not much, several order of magnitude more than I pay in account fees so i is all good as far as I am concerned.

I wouldn't have a "foreign" personal account with a UK bank, I fail to see the point: my Swiss Francs are in Switzerland, my Euros in France and my pound in the UK. Only my business Euros are in the UK.

Hope this helps.

Edited by frenchy

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I am very impressed with Post Finance (and probably with Swiss Banks in general), the account is secure,

So what guarantees are there if the bank gets in difficulties?

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So what guarantees are there if the bank gets in difficulties?

it depends which bank it is, some have similar guarantees up to a certain amount as in the uk, some have been given full guarantees (cantonal banks), not sure how smart that is though, i dont know about poste finance but the main point is whatever the guarantees some banks are simply safer than others, that applies to all countries, unfortunately in the uk most of them are basket cases outside of a select few private banks. The point frenchy is making is that quite simply if you are going to diversify currency then it also makes sense to diversify both bank and country

Edited by Tamara De Lempicka

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I have a CHF account at Barclays. Bought CHF at 1.70 to the pound and they are now 1.42 to the pound. Interest rate is zero though. The account is free (unlike HSBC who charge £5 pcm for the privilege.) Conversions are at a competitive rate, not tourist rates and you can withdraw in cash with a 2% haircut (only for dire emergencies, that.)

The CHF is a safe long term play. It has been growing against sterling for the last 30 years at a steady rate.

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The CHF is a safe long term play. It has been growing against sterling for the last 30 years at a steady rate.

Thats not strictly accurate, I went to live in Switzerland in 1994, the rate was 1.80 : £ it then strengthened to about 2.60 : £ . It was avobe 2.40 until October 2008.

Here is a 12 year chart.

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=GBPCHF=X#symbol=;range=5y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=;

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I have a CHF account at Barclays. Bought CHF at 1.70 to the pound and they are now 1.42 to the pound. Interest rate is zero though. The account is free (unlike HSBC who charge £5 pcm for the privilege.) Conversions are at a competitive rate, not tourist rates and you can withdraw in cash with a 2% haircut (only for dire emergencies, that.)

The CHF is a safe long term play. It has been growing against sterling for the last 30 years at a steady rate.

Can I just go in my barclays to open one of these or is it an offshore thing?

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Can I just go in my barclays to open one of these or is it an offshore thing?

First you need a Barlcays current account. Then you can open the CHF account at the UK branch, most of the actual mechanics of the account are done by post or over the phone talking to posh girls used to dealing with megabucks.

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Thats not strictly accurate, I went to live in Switzerland in 1994, the rate was 1.80 : £ it then strengthened to about 2.60 : £ . It was avobe 2.40 until October 2008.

Here is a 12 year chart.

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=GBPCHF=X#symbol=;range=5y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=;

That's noise in the system. Look at a 30 or 40 year chart for the big picture. In the 1970s it was £1 = CHF 10 (or SFr 10 as we used to call it back then.)

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I am very impressed with Post Finance (and probably with Swiss Banks in general),

Post Finances, Coop, Migros are the most cost effective for depositing CHF. I have a Migros account which pays 0.65%. None will currently let you open an account without a work or residency permit AFAIKS.

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I have a CHF account at Barclays. Bought CHF at 1.70 to the pound and they are now 1.42 to the pound. Interest rate is zero though. The account is free (unlike HSBC who charge £5 pcm for the privilege.) Conversions are at a competitive rate, not tourist rates and you can withdraw in cash with a 2% haircut (only for dire emergencies, that.)

The CHF is a safe long term play. It has been growing against sterling for the last 30 years at a steady rate.

Was thinking of doing this myself. However the number of years you hold it and 'gain' with a better exchange rate - could easily be balanced out with the 'loss' of 2-4% of interest per annum you could get in £.

Then of course the £ could strengthen and it is a double whammy.

No harm in spreading your currency about. I think that can make sense sometimes. However expecting/hoping to make profit out of it is a one mega dangerous game.

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