Haute RE Magazine

If Your Investments Could Emigrate …

What’s the Reality Behind “Haute Banking”?

If there’s one thing the Swiss know better than cheese, chocolate and watches… it’s money. The history of banking in the tiny European country is long and storied, with an enduring reputation for privacy and stability. Haute was privileged to host Jan Lübbe, an expert with Swiss wealth management group Finaport, on his recent visit to Vancouver. He explained why it might be worth considering sending some of your hard-earned money to Switzerland.

Why is Switzerland such a good home for international wealth?

JL: Switzerland is economically and politically stable — and neutral. We’ve had the most stable currency in the world for the last 100 years. And we’ve been banking for the last 200 years!

Is there a typical Swiss banking client?

JL: There’s no really typical client. But Canada has placed some restrictions on Canadian citizens so that you must have $5M in global wealth before you can qualify for a Swiss bank account.

Why choose Switzerland for banking?

JL: The primary incentives are safety, stability and diversification. Your local bank manager won’t have the breadth of vision that we have.

We’re independent of the banks, working with over 62 institutions globally. We work in cooperation with the client to develop a strategy. The Swiss model is to choose the banks and other investment opportunities. You can use as many currencies you like — with no size limit — up to 60 major currencies.

Jan Lübbe proves that you don’t have to go to Switzerland to meet a Swiss banker
Finance is a family affair at the first-ever Hollybridge Swiss Banking seminar

What are the misperceptions of Swiss banking?

JL: I think the main wrong idea is that you can hide assets from the taxman. That’s not what we do. It’s simply not an option. Transparency is everything. People are unaware of the modern ways that Swiss banking is made possible. 24/7 access around the globe, with all the information at their fingertips.

You still need to put blue ink on white paper to open the account. But we send it to you. There’s no need to come to Switzerland!

What types of investments are on offer?

JL: We can do art, cars, wine, watches and real estate. We can do crypto. Private equity and debt are a possibility. It’s up to the client. There are very few limitations on what we can invest in.

What’s special about Vancouver, in your mind?

JL: Vancouver is ripe for private banking. The city increased its net wealth by over 27% during COVID. And Canadian banks have a biased view — resources, telecoms, the big banks and railways. They are limited in what they can do. We have a competitive edge when it comes to international diversity and multiple currencies.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


Photo credit: Mayowill Photography