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Banking

Geneva - Banking


Banking

Although Zurich is considered Switzerland's financial center, a large number of the Swiss banks can be found operating branches in Geneva, particularly in the area of private banking. There are a number of retail banks in Geneva – from the major players (e.g. UBS, Credit Suisse) to smaller, family-run ones who can offer English-speaking staff to assist you in your various banking needs. The Banque Cantonale de Genève is a cantonal bank and the Swiss Post also offers financial services.

While it is not difficult to open a bank account in Geneva, some banks now require certain documentation, such as your residence permit, a copy of your work contract (or "permis frontalier" if you are a cross-border work permit holder) and a recent utility bill. Some banks may require a larger deposit from non-Swiss when opening an account, so check around before opening an account. SW Consulting provides a useful summary of the banks located in Geneva, and the corresponding number of branches found in Geneva on their website.

Banks in Geneva usually operate Mondays through Fridays, 830am to 430pm.

Cashless Payments

A "carte maestro" or EC card is a useful debit card that is issued by banks. This card can be used at "bancomats" (ATMs or Automated machines) to withdraw cash (usually in CHF but Euros can be withdrawn from some bancomats). The carte maestro can also be used to pay for items in many shops via use of a personal pin, or to pay for parking. Credit cards ("carte de credit") are widely accepted in Geneva, although some smaller shops or restaurants may impose a minimum sum before credit cards are accepted. Checks are not as widely used as in the US.

Utility bills are best settled via making prior arrangements with your bank to pay via e-banking or tele-banking. Another way to settle regular bills is to pay directly at the local post offices with a bill slip ("bulletin de versement" - BVR). Most bills are given 30 days grace for settlement.


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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.