Postfinance, the financial services arm of Swiss Post, is closing down its e-trading platform for clients based outside Switzerland, citing increased regulatory requirements.
This is more bad news for customers who are resident abroad, having been told in July that their Postfinance credit cards would be cancelled by the end of October.
Postfinance spokesman Johannes Möri confirmed to swissinfo.ch on Monday that the company’s e-trading service – which offers an account in francs, euros and dollars, access to 15 stock exchanges, real-time rates and tools for evaluating and monitoring one’s assets – would no longer be available for clients living abroad. This includes the 740,000 Swiss who live abroad.
No number was given for the number of people affected, who are now being sent letters informing them of the 30-day notice. Möri explained, however, that Postfinance would cover the costs of transferring securities to a new bank.
Private accounts owned by clients based abroad remain unaffected. Maintenance costs for these account costs have, however, increased by 50%: since July a private account costs CHF180 ($188) a year instead of CHF120.
Postfinance said the reasons for closing the e-trading service to people based abroad were the same as for shutting the credit card service: increased regulatory requirements when dealing with cross-border financial activity, for example various tax agreements, the foreign account tax compliant act (FATCA), and the automatic exchange of information.
swissinfo.ch and agencies