The Swiss financial centre competing internationally

Interview between Luca Carrozzo and the Swiss Association of Wealth Managers.

Swiss banks have been announcing their results recently. Do the figures suggest Switzerland is still doing well against the international competition?


Bank results have been outstanding. The interest rate environment has been a key factor for sure. Over the longer term Swiss banks will have to boost their resilience and diversify their business model. The good news is that assets under management have risen again.

The economic historian and Zurich University Professor Tobias Straumann said in an interview published in our 2023 Yearbook recently that the Swiss financial centre has lost its international significance and he sees no alternative to this trend. Have we really missed the boat?


In my opinion, there is still a lot to do. When you are at the top, you have to work harder to stay where you are. Switzerland benefits from global uncertainty, which sadly will not be diminishing in the next few years. Profit margins are shrinking and people want alternative services. Even so, Swiss banks generate around 10% of the country’s total GDP. The figure has been at that level since 2011. Swiss banks employ more than 200,000 people and provide an excellent service. Politicians will have to do their bit to ensure the overall conditions remain favourable.

What can we do to make sure Switzerland retains its leading position in banking? What are the strengths the financial centre should be concentrating on?


Swiss banks’ strength lies in their employees. We have an outstanding pool of talented young people keen to join the financial sector who are interested in and enthusiastic about this fascinating industry. The service mentality is also very high compared to Italy and Germany. Clients of Swiss banks enjoy a full range of services (private banking, asset management, lending, etc.) of excellent quality.

What are clients who come to Swiss banks looking for? What are the benefits the Swiss financial centre has to offer?


Perfect service, security, innovation, quality and stability. The Swiss franc remains a strong point; on average it appreciates 3% every year against all major currencies. The SNB also has an important role, and is playing a leading part in the testing of central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Regulation in the financial sector has been tightening for years. Will this go on?


Regulation is still a challenge, and alas it will get even tighter in future. The consolidation of the two major Swiss banks certainly has not helped to halt the trend. We should be looking for shared solutions, rather than every country going its own way. Switzerland is setting a good example, and is in the process of entering into an agreement with the United Kingdom.