In Switzerland, Raiffeisen Banks are designated a special bank category. This category refers to cooperative banks modeled after the ideas of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. They share much in common with credit unions in that they are founded cooperatively for the economic benefit of their members.
Swiss Raiffeisen banks were initially founded primarily as agricultural banks to serve agricultural communities.
Most Swiss Raiffeisen Banks share Raiffeisen Bank branding and collaborate in certain sectors. For example, customers of Swiss Raiffeisen banks can use all Raiffeisen ATMs to access their accounts and make cash withdrawals without paying ATM fees. In most respects, however, Swiss Raiffeisen banks operate independently of each other and have their own products and fee schedules.
Membership in Raiffeisen banks is generally open to the public, with members being required to make an investment in the bank. Membership is not required in order to use the products and services provided by Swiss Raiffeisen banks, although members typically benefit from discounted fees and charges and other privileges.
Raiffeisen banks are included in moneyland.ch banking comparisons.