I'm Swiss and worked 4 months in the USA. So I opened a bank account at Chase Bank. Due to bad exchange rate I decided to keep the money at the Chase bank account.

This was 3 years ago. I decieded to transfer my money. So I issued a wire transfer order in the online banking. My account got blocked due to "unlikely activities" on my account.

So I called chase. Outcome is that they can't verify myself on the telephone. They provide the possibility that my personal banker can verify my identity.

So I called my personal banker. She doesn't recognizes me nor can she remember our one time meeting - nice. She doesn't even believe me.. not even after she saw my account in her system. So she helped me with "I don't have the power to unlock your account. Can I assisst you with anything else today?".

And that's where I'm today. I don't want to travel to USA for my 3000$. Does anyone has an idea how to solve my problem? I thought about verifying my identity at the embassy in Bern or about a full authority for a friend who travels to the USA in june.

  • 2
    Only the bank can tell you what identification they will accept. Discuss this with them. Remember that they are going to be very strict because that's how they keep someone else from taking your money. You_might_ be able to do it via a Medallion Signature, which is a kind of upgraded notarization by which one bank arrests to another that they have investigated and you are who you say you are; it differs from normal notarization in having the bank issuing the Medallion take responsibility for repaying the money if the transaction turns out to have been fraudulent.
    – keshlam
    Mar 15, 2016 at 17:24
  • 1
    Agree with keshlam, medallion would probably be the way to go. However, it is IMHO a North-American thing... Check if a Swiss bank can do that.
    – littleadv
    Mar 15, 2016 at 17:33
  • You might also want to ask Chase what their policy is on accounts that have no activity for years. I have lost money in US banks because it was sitting in an account with no activity and they had a rule that they get to take your money after some period of not using your account.
    – Dronz
    Jan 2, 2017 at 16:55
  • 1
    It is absolutely hateful when this happens. A number of times I've had to fly literally around-the-world for exactly this reason.
    – Fattie
    Feb 22, 2018 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


As far as I can see, this is an issue of the bank's policy rather than some legal regulation. That means that you'll need to work it out with the bank. To give you a couple of ideas to work with when you talk with them, maybe something from this list will work:

  • The document that you called "a full authority" is probably what we'd call here a "power of attorney." That might work, but you'll want to make sure that it's written in a way that will be recognized, so, again, checking with the bank may help. Hiring an attorney (who practices US law) might be necessary. You might also need some sort of certification on it, in which case see next bullet.
  • If Chase has a form that they want filled out, you might be able to just get that notarized at the embassy and mail it in. If you were in the US, the two types of validation that might be useful are Notary Public and Medallion signature. The US Embassy staff have authority to provide similar service, although I'm not sure if it's only available to US citizens or not. It also appears to be more in line with the Notary Public than the Medallion, so it may or may not be sufficient. (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/judicial/authentication-of-documents/notarial-and-authentication-services-consular-officers.html) Note that this might also be available at the Consulate locations in Geneva and Zurich, if those are more convenient to you than Bern. http://bern.usembassy.gov/service/locations.html

Good luck!

  • Thank you very,very much. I let you know if one of your recommendations worked.
    – engineerer
    Mar 16, 2016 at 8:05
  • UBS AG Switzerland provides a form called "Signature specimen". I hope this form is similar to the Medallion since neither the embassy nor Swiss banks provide the Medallion service anymore. If that won't work I go for the Notary Public service what's more costly. You get me the idea to do this. Thank you.
    – engineerer
    Mar 16, 2016 at 15:33
  • Ended up notarizing the signature at the notary - cost of CHF 25. Way less than I expected. It might be necessary to let the notary be witnessed by Swiss goverment too. But I didn't get any response from Chase so far.
    – engineerer
    Jan 9, 2017 at 18:42
  • 2
    the notarized signature solved my problem - got my money. thx to everyone.
    – engineerer
    Jul 7, 2017 at 13:57

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