“Is it advisable to open an account in a small bank in Switzerland, rather than one with branches in

Question from an US-based IM Member:

Q: "Is it advisable to open an account in a small bank in Switzerland, rather than one with branches in other countries of the EU due to the 30% with-holding tax?"

A (by Terry Coxon): Interest earned by foreign investors from Swiss sources is subject to withholding at a rate of 35%, so keeping money on deposit at a Swiss bank is not a way to earn tax-free interest. A Swiss bank can put your money into a non-Swiss money market fund or other vehicle that earns interest without withholding.

If you go to a Swiss bank for that or any other service, choose a bank that does not have any branches or other important operations in your home country.


Terry Coxon is the president of Passport Financial, Inc., a publishing company specializing in international financial planning, and a senior editor for Casey Research. Terry is the author of Keep What You Earn, Using Warrants and the co-author (with Harry Browne) of Inflation-Proofing Your Investments. He edited Harry Browne’s Special Reports for its 23 years of publication and all of Harry Browne’s investment books since 1974.

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