General Information

Frequent Questions

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions.

Different Rates Internet vs. Markets?

Why do I see one rate on the internet and receive another rate when I change money?
The rate shown on the internet is usually the interbank rate. Although this rate is normally current, there is always a small time delay. The actual forex transaction, however, is based on the current rate. This can change within seconds, and so the two rates are not identical.
The rate shown on the internet applies to transactions between banks for amounts in excess of USD 5 million. Individual client transactions are made at varying rates, depending on the volume. Credit Suisse uses three volume categories: transactions up to CHF 100,000; transactions from CHF 100,000 to CHF 250,000; and transactions over CHF 250,000.

How Up-to-date Are Rates?

Rates differ from case to case. The interbank rates shown in tables are updated every few minutes. Less sensitive rates are updated at greater intervals. Our online forex trading tool uses rates that are always current, i.e. the trading rates.

Where Can One Find Historical Rates?

The "Currency Converter for 164 currencies" provides the option of tracking the historical rates for any selected currency pair over any period in the last ten years. This will show the average rate for any given day. Did you receive a different rate from your bank? On the one hand, rates can fluctuate substantially over the course of a day. On the other hand, the bank adds its own margin to the sale and purchase rates.

Why Is Banknote Rate Worse Than Forex Rate?

The exchange of banknotes involves a lot more manual outlay. Banknotes must be consigned and delivered, resulting in transport and insurance costs. This has an over-proportional impact on smaller transaction amounts. Holding banknotes also generates no interest. Forex products tend to be easier to trade and transfer.

Why Are Forex Forecasts So Often off the Mark?

An exact forecast of future exchange rates, interest rates, market rates or oil prices is generally impossible. Our economists and traders analyze all the factors involved in the future performance of rates on an ongoing basis. Based on this, they make a brave prediction. This forecast, however, is based on various fundamentals (the economy, inflation, consumption, interest rates, military and political events, etc. ) which in turn are difficult to predict. No forecast is infallible. They are intended to assist readers in forming their own assessments, and, based on this, they make their own investment decisions. This is done in the full knowledge that conditions on the financial markets can change very quickly - implying, in turn, an adjustment of the investment decision.

Trading Prerequisites?

Corporate clients of Credit Suisse require an account for each currency to be traded and a credit agreement which serves as the basis for the foreign exchange limit. In general, a limit of 10 % of the outstanding balance is required (depending on the volatility of the currencies and the maturity). In addition, a master agreement for OTC foreign exchange transactions is also required.

Private clients of Credit Suisse may also trade currencies. To receive a forward limit for foreign exchange transactions, assets (including cash, time deposits, bonds, equities, etc.) to a value of at least 10 % of the trading volume must be deposited and pledged as collateral (NB: different assets classes have different collateral values). Example: at least CHF 100,000 in assets (collateral) must be available for a position of CHF 1 million. If losses accrue, these must be re-margined with cash or the position reduced or closed. In addition, a master agreement for OTC foreign exchange transactions is also required.

Can Individuals Make Money Dealing in Currencies?

There are market players who have managed to make money in the long term, with gains exceeding losses. But there are those who have lost everything. In principle, dealing in currencies can be lucrative, but it is also associated with significant risks. Only speculate with that portion of your assets you can afford to loose. Set yourself targets of how much you would like to make on any given position and at what point you will exit in case of losses. The secret of success is discipline. If you have engaged the services of an asset manager, remember that there are many stories of managers and companies that have abused this type of transaction so as to charge their clients a steep commission, or managers who have not come to grips with the associated risks, thus incurring large losses. Strict supervision of manager performance is essential. Promises of attractive returns cannot be taken seriously in business. Remember that the manager alone is responsible for your money - the bank has no influence. Beware of the false security generated by a bank's good name.

Find the Right Hedge Product

The Credit Suisse website provides a decision tree that will help you to select the right product. You are also welcome to use the online contact form to arrange a non-binding consultation by telephone with us. One of our forex specialists will gladly contact you. You can also order our brochure "Chancen nutzen im Devisen- und Zinsgeschäft" ("Seize opportunities in foreign exchange and interest rate business" - available in German, French and Italian only).

Is there a Difference Between Futures and Options?

Futures and options are two different types of transaction. Futures are forward transactions traded on US markets. A futures contract is defined in detail. It is possible to trade several contracts. OTC forward transactions - as found at Credit Suisse - are much more flexible and can be tailored to the needs of clients. Options are forward transactions with a form of insurance. Buyers of options have the choice of exercising the option or not at its maturity. By contrast, a forward transaction or futures contract must be exercised.

Professional Advice at Our Foreign Exchange Centers

Over 40 specialists at our foreign exchange centers in Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Lugano, and St. Gallen will be pleased to help you over the phone or via email.


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