How to open a bank account in EFG (Zurich) SA

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November, 2008 December, 2021 April, 2021

GSL reference about the bank

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Primary requirements:
- savings (investment) accounts;
- requirements for the minimum account balance - 2,000,000 USD;
- an account can be opened without leaving Switzerland, but a meeting with a banker who regularly visits Moscow is required.
We all work with people rather than organizations, don’t we? The banking sector is no exception. This is why it was a human factor that defined our choice of yet another Swiss bank. This one is more than 150 years old, investment- and savings-oriented, it has standards terms, slightly higher bank fees, clear requirements and well-known products – a bank of which Switzerland has dozens.
After the first wave of the world’s 2008 economic crisis, the Alpine Republic developed a tendency for the experienced well-educated staff, usually Swiss citizens of ‘non-Russian origin’, to leave their long-occupied working places at first-rate banks which have been affected by the crisis greater than the others and therefore have cut down social benefits, salaries, and bonuses.
This is how we got acquainted with BSI Bank and met again a banker who speaks excellent Russian and understands Russian mentality, whom we had long known since she worked at the Moscow representative office of a major foreign bank and from whom we could expect an individual approach and some departure (for the better) from the classic Swiss banking standards.
In July 2014, the bank changed hands: Italian insurance company Generalli sold its shares in BSI to BTG Pactual, a Brazilian financial group 

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    Bank's characteristics

    General information and rating

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    Global rating Countrywide rating Countrywide rating of the head bank Global rating of the head bank Credit rating
    752 17 A
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    Year of foundation 1873
    History Established in 1873 as Banca della Svizzera Italiana. The name changed to BSI-Banca della Svizzera Italiana in 1988 and to the existing one – in December 1998. The bank took over Banca Unione di Credito (founded in 1919) in January 2007 and Banca del Gottardo (founded in 1957) in July 2008. In July 2014, the bank changed hands: Italian insurance company Generalli sold its shares in BSI to BTG Pactual, a Brazilian financial group
    Personnel The bank has over 2300 staff, including Russian-speaking officers
    Bank’s shareholders The bank’s major shareholder is EFG Bank European Financial Group (EFG Group) - 56%. The shares in EFG International are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange
    Confidentiality Judicial Cooperation Agreement with Russia is signed; Double Taxation Agreement with Russia is signed; AML legislation is strictly observed; Active member of OECD, FATF, Basel Commitee, Egmont Group etc.

    Minimum requirements

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    Minimum balance, € Transactions permitted per month Initial deposit of funds, € Deadline for the initial deposit, month Minimum turnover, €/year
    2 000 000 10 2 000 000 2
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    Minimum balance, € Minimum balance requirement - 2,000,000 USD
    Transactions permitted per month There is a right to transactions, however, for each of them, supporting documents are required, and it is desirable to open a personal account
    Initial deposit of funds, € The down payment must be equal to the minimum account balance
    Deadline for the initial deposit, month The down payment must be paid within the first few months
    How fast payments are executed Payments are executed same day or next day

    Tariffs and services

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    Outcoming transfer, € Incoming transfer, € Account maintenance, €/year Payment limit for credit cards, €/day Funds to be blocked for CC issue, €
    30 0 150 N/A N/A
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    Outcoming transfer, € Transfer fee is about 30 EUR
    Incoming transfer, € The Bank does not charge commission for crediting
    Account maintenance, €/year Account maintenance fee is 15 CHF per month
    Distant access to the account eBanking
    Financial products The bank does NOT work with main banking products, offering traditional financial instruments in this area: money market, stocks, bonds and their combinations
    Credit/debit cards American Express, MasterCard

    Account opening procedure

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    Days to open for incoming transfers Days to open for outcoming transfers References Business description Purpose of the account
    case by case case by case Not necessary Detailed Savings
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    Visit to the bank Account opening process requires a visit to either London or, if agreed with the banker, any other European country. The bank officer does visit Moscow, but only a couple of times a year
    Required Photocopy of passport, business card, standard set of corporate documents
    Types of accounts Personal; Corporate; Savings
    Opening procedure and Due Diligence It is possible to open an account without visiting the country where the bank is located; It is possible to open an account without meeting the banker
    Chances to open an account Predictable
    Business description Relatively detailed: in addition to the description of the business, the origin of funds needs to be disclosed
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