Swiss Francs are not accepted as a currency at my Canadian Bank!

I had some Swiss Francs that I wanted to get exchanged and put on my Canadian bank account today. So I happily go to my branch here in Ottawa with my foreign money, wait kindly in line and when comes my turn, ask if they could put this on my bank account, expecting to get charged a ridiculous amount for transaction fees, and potentially even requiring them to send it to a central place to process the currency exchange. Well, it’s even more fun than that: They simply won’t take it!

It really sounded like the currency from Switzerland was the equal of the one from a third-world country where the exchange rate changes by the minute due to civil war… so when I asked what currencies are actually accepted by my bank, the answer was simply US Dollars and British Pounds (at least one European currency, thanks to the Queen). Yes, you’ve read correctly, my bank in Canada isn’t even willing to exchange Euros.

And for those who ask, I am banking with one of the biggest ones in Canada who charge a fortune for a normal account per month, not a small unknown internet bank. I was already convinced that the banking system in this country is completely outdated, but this was just the little extra that confirmed everything. The only solution for me is to go to a currency exchange place downtown (yes, where the tourists go) and then take the Canadian Dollars to bring them to my branch! Not impressed…

2 thoughts on “Swiss Francs are not accepted as a currency at my Canadian Bank!”

  1. Remind me to exchanges my Swiss Francs *before* I come visit you ! I never thought they were *that* backwards ! I wonder what the banks in Washington are like … I’ll try them out :) (need to remember to take 20 CHF with me – hehe)

  2. People around the world tend to consider swiss banks are based on secrecy, but swiss people know they’re really efficient, and are often disappointed abroad by the level of service you get

    I just checked : the only (local) bank in my village (3000 inhabitants) would accept canadian dollars without problems. I told them your story and they said “why would a bank refuse to take money ?”.

    The first canadian bank is ranked #33 here. Now you know why. (Ok UBS might not be #1 for long…)

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