When my youngest one (7) was born, the ZKB opened an account for him and gave him 20 Francs as a gift. Just like that. Without me having to do anything. I found that nice.
At about the age of 6, money started becoming an issue and in the course of my educational measures, he got a weekly pocket money of 2 Francs. It was funny at the beginning because he used to give the money away to his friends. I thought his generous manner impressive. However, then he noticed that I refused to buy him any sweets, he started to save the money, in order to have some money for “larger” expenses.
I then organised a ladies’ evening with about 20 guests. My youngest one loves it when we have guests and he really made an effort. He took the coats from the ladies, served them sedulously with water and wine, served the main course and the dessert and cleared away the plates. Without a break, with a smile, just irresistible. The ladies were really charmed and one of them had the idea to tip him. Of course, he had more than deserved this money but I had to slow down their generosity. Finally, all of this should have a pedagogic effect. Within a short time he had collected 60 Francs. For a seven years old not a bad salary for one evening. And furthermore, he had a lot of fun and had not even expected it.
Then the question came, what he should do with all that money. After a long discussion he decided to pay the money on his savings book. I was pretty much impressed and thought that this boy may become an entrepreneur one day.
One afternoon after school he went with his older sisters and his 60 Francs to the ZKB. In the evening, when I came home, disappointment was written all over his face. ZKB had denied accepting his 60 Francs. Without ID he was not allowed to pay money on his account. His annual ticket for public transport, with his photo, date of birth and address was not accepted.
I know that by now there are countless laws which make the business activity of banks very complicated from an administrative point of view. But to apply the anti-money laundering law in this case seemed very disproportional. Of course, I could take the 60 Francs and transfer them from my account to his bank account, but where would be the pedagogic effect? I remember very well how astonished I was when I went to the bank with my grandmother, how I admired the huge hall and the elaborately painted ceiling but also the silence and secretive atmosphere. Back then I was very proud when my grandmother opened a savings book in this bank for me. I wanted to give such an experience to my son.
We then went to the bank together during the holidays. But without ID nothing was to be done this time either. The bank clear was neither really nice nor very helpful. I don’t think that it had been a great experience for my little one.
Whatever, it is not easy to be a saver. And saving money in Switzerland by now anyway is just for chosen ones.