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#15 - Private Banking

#15 - Private Banking

Swiss Private Banking
Min. deposit: $1 million

Rich people love multiple bank accounts; rich people love Swiss Bank accounts. Switzerland is an excellent choice due to bank secrecy, low risk, economic stability and let’s be honest who doesn’t love saying “wire it to my Swiss account”. Few industries are enshrouded by mystery as Swiss banking. Despite James Bond’s distrust of Swiss bankers, learn a few rules and you will be leading sparkling conversation that makes your wealthy compatriots envy your international financial knowledge.

Bankers will not install microprocessors under your skin, you won’t feel like James Bond withdrawing your cash and you certainly won’t have a Da Vinci Code key to tote around. In fact, private banking services in Switzerland are remarkably similar to private banking services in Cleveland, but who wants to go to Cleveland? What you do get is banking secrecy rivaled by few countries the world over. Clients may use Swiss banks to shield assets from spiteful spouses, intrusive government tax agencies, angry patients, unscrupulous business associates, greedy litigators or a host of leeches laying claim to the birthright of the fabulously wealthy.

Besides the intense secrecy laws that protect account holders, private banking has unrivalled levels of service far surpassing the common man’s mass market retail savings and checking accounts. Rich people can ensure they avoid teller lines, dirty ATMs, pens on chains and cattle-herding polyester ropes by liaising with their personal banker in the comfort of a private office. Services are extensive and typically include wealth management counseling services, investment advice and estate planning peppered with offside humor at the expense of poor people. While the minimum million dollars in assets in not particularly prohibitive, many private Swiss Banks will only extend an invitation to new customers based upon a referral from current customers. Nevertheless, during your next visit to St. Moritz, delay the departure of your Gulfstream, visit Zurich and engage bankers that have served European royalty for over 300 years. Unsurprisingly, you are unlikely to encounter Mr. Christoph Meili in the lobby.

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