Statement from the Swiss Bankers Association regarding publication of the final report from the independent group of experts for the “Further development of the financial market strategy” (Brunetti Group)

  • The SBA welcomes the final report issued by the Brunetti Group of Experts. It is an important element in further strengthening the national and international competitiveness of the financial centre. Together with the legislative proposal for the new financial market architecture, all of the plans for reform are now on the table. The task at hand is to now swiftly implement these in the interests of the international competitiveness of the financial centre.
  • Of particular note is the strong convergence between the sector and the authorities in almost all areas. The overview and the outline of the general thrust of the measures provided in the report underline this assessment. In order for this common understanding to lead to the desired results in the implementation, the following points are crucial for the banking sector:
    • The SBA expects that its representatives continue to be involved in all tasks surrounding implementation in a participatory manner and from the outset, as stated in the recommendations regarding the improvements to the regulatory process. This not only increases the legal certainty of regulation, but also guarantees that the regulatory process is transparent, efficient and conducted in a proportionate manner. The SBA also expects FINMA to ensure a clear separation of supervisory and regulatory functions.
    • Many recommendations remain in part open and are formulated as being subject to further analysis. It is now a question of swiftly substantiating these for the purpose of improving competitiveness and of defining the measures to be taken on this basis. This applies particularly to recommendations in tax matters, where among other things, the abolition or respective harmonisation of stamp tax in line with the foreign system of the FTT is being postulated.
    • Improving competitiveness also involves successful marketing of the Swiss financial centre abroad. The SBA welcomes the fact that the Brunetti Group of Experts has addressed this longstanding objective of the banking sector and that it recognises in its report that joint efforts must be undertaken to this end. The SBA will now proceed to submit recommendations and expects the Swiss federal government to commit to these and not to pay lip service only to the expressed statement of intent.
  • For the banks, cross-border access to important markets is absolutely central and a priority for the preservation of value creation and jobs in Switzerland. In terms of geographic distribution there are two key approaches:
    • On the one hand, tendencies toward isolationism with regard to Europe must be prevented. In the short term, this includes binational agreements with important EU partner countries. Long term, however, only an institutional agreement with the EU offers the necessary legal certainty for financial services providers in Switzerland. It is therefore positive that Switzerland will analyse the feasibility of a financial services agreement (FSA) with the EU. Both approaches to a solution must be pursued in parallel, as a potential FDA is a long-term option.
    • On the other hand, at the same time measures for opening new growth markets must be undertaken. The major focus lies on the growth markets in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.