Press Release

Financial services: PostFinance makes changes to interest rates and fees

Interest rates on national and international markets continue to be at historic lows and are mostly even in the negative. Due to the lending prohibition, it is becoming increasingly difficult for PostFinance to find profitable investments for the customer deposits entrusted to it. As a result, it loses out on income equivalent to a figure in the double-digit millions each year. At the same time, ever stricter regulations are leading to higher expenses and costs. The financial service provider has therefore decided to increase the fees for individual products which are no longer covering costs, to reduce interest rates on accounts and interest limits, and to extend the fee on the credit balance. 

“I appreciate that these measures will not be very popular amongst our customers. Nobody likes paying fees”, comments Hansruedi Köng, CEO of PostFinance. “We have a clear mandate to operate economically. However, as a bank owned by Swiss Post and therefore by the Swiss Confederation, we are not bound by the classic shareholder value approach. We have therefore always allowed our customers to share in our success. This has enabled us to offer them attractive interest rates and fees over the years. We too are pained by the fact that this is no longer possible to the same extent due to negative interest rates, the lending prohibition and the costs incurred by stricter regulatory requirements.”

Interest rates on accounts

PostFinance will decrease the interest rates on accounts as follows with effect from 1 January 2017:

Account Current interest rate Interest rate from 1.1.2017 Reduction
Account
Youth (e-)savings account
Current interest rate
0,800%
Interest rate from 1.1.2017
0,550%
Reduction
-0,250%
Account
Youth and student account
Current interest rate
0,500%
Interest rate from 1.1.2017
0,250%
Reduction
-0,250%
Account
Vested benefits account, 2nd pillar
Current interest rate
0,200%
Interest rate from 1.1.2017
0,050%
Reduction
-0,150%
Account
Retirement savings account 3a
Current interest rate
0,500%
Interest rate from 1.1.2017
0,300%
Reduction
-0,200%
Account
(E-)savings account business customers/associations CHF/EUR
Current interest rate
0,050%
Interest rate from 1.1.2017
0,000%
Reduction
-0,050%

Interest limits

PostFinance will decrease interest limits as follows with effect from 1 January 2017:

Account Current interest limit Interest limit from 1.1.2017
Account
(E-)savings account for private customers in CHF
Current interest limit
CHF 500'000.–
Interest limit from 1.1.2017
CHF 250'000.–
Account
(E-)savings account for private customers in EUR
Current interest limit
EUR 350'000.–
Interest limit from 1.1.2017
EUR 200'000.–

Fee on the credit balance

PostFinance’s sight deposit balance at the Swiss National Bank exceeds the exemption limit. This has already cost the financial service provider more than ten million francs in negative interest this year. PostFinance has therefore decided to extend the fee on the credit balance that was introduced for major customers and banks in February 2015. From 1 February 2017 and until further notice, it will charge a 1% fee on the proportion of the credit balance of wealthy private customers that exceeds one million francs. The assets in all private and savings accounts will be taken into account.

Most private and business customers will remain exempt from the fee on the credit balance.

Pricing for international customers

The automatic exchange of information (AEOI) will come into force between Switzerland and various other countries on 1 January 2017. From 1 January 2018, this agreement will oblige PostFinance to report customers whose tax domicile is located in an AEOI country to the Federal Tax Administration, which will forward the data to the relevant country. The financial service provider must therefore clarify the tax domicile of current customers if there is reason to believe that they are liable for taxation in an AEOI country. In future, the tax domicile of new customers will be clarified automatically at the start of each business relationship.

The enquiries and data preparation associated with the AEOI agreement entail a substantial administrative workload. This will result in much higher costs for the management of cross-border customer relationships. For this reason, PostFinance will increase the additional fee for private and business accounts of customers domiciled outside Switzerland and Liechtenstein from the current 15 francs to 25 francs per month from 1 January 2017.

Cheque collection

The cheque collection service involves redeeming bank cheques which customers submit to PostFinance in order to be credited to their account. There are two different procedures: “subject to collection” (the amount is credited to the account as soon as the cheque is received, but remains reserved for 30 days) and “after collection” (the amount is only credited to the account once the money has actually been received by PostFinance).

Cheque collection has lost much of its importance in the past few years, and is now operating at a loss. PostFinance will therefore increase the fees for cheque collection as follows with effect from 1 January 2017:

Procedure Current fee Fee from 1.1.2017
Procedure
Subject to collection
Current fee
15 francs
Fee from 1.1.2017
25 francs
Procedure
After collection
Current fee
40 francs
Fee from 1.1.2017
60 francs

Information

Johannes Möri

Media Spokesman

079 354 08 39