The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
September 24, 2015


Chinese-Swiss Financial Round Tables become established

Chinese-Swiss Financial Round Tables become established

On September 2, the 2nd Chinese-Swiss Financial Round Table of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the China Banking Association (CBA) was successfully concluded in Beijing. It tops a busy year for the Swiss financial center on its way to a leading center for Renminbi business in Europe.
IMG_2827 (2)_1500.jpg
Patrick Odier, President of the Swiss Bankers Association

Since the first Round Table in June 2014 in Zurich, the central banks of China and Switzerland established a CNY-CHF swap line and agreed on introducing Renminbi (RMB) clearing in Switzerland. Moreover, a Swiss RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) quota of RMB 50 billion was granted and the first subquota of RMB 5 billion allotted to Swiss Re. China Construction Bank (CCB) is about to open a branch in Zurich and will act as Switzerland’s RMB clearing bank. Other Chinese banks are expected to follow, and SIX Group plans to provide RMB payment services and listings. SBA President Patrick Odier has already invited the SBA´s Chinese partners to the Third Round Table envisaged to be held in Switzerland in 2016.

This year´s Financial Round Table again took place back-to-back to the third government-to-government financial dialogue, reflecting the joint effort by the Swiss government and Swiss banks to promote the Swiss RMB hub. Complementing the Round Table was an Educational Pilot Program commencing collaboration in banking education and training between CBA and SBA. The delegation of the Swiss Bankers was led by Patrick Odier.

Top-class speakers

Keynote speakers included Mr. Fan Wenzhong, Director-General of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), Deputy State Secretary Alexander Karrer, Swiss State Secretariat for International Finance, Thomas Meier, Region Head Asia Pacific of Bank Julius Baer, and Professor Anne Héritier Lachat, Chair of the FINMA Board of Directors. Speakers and panelists hailed from large banks such as ICBC, Bank of China, CCB, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Standard Chartered and UBS as well as from Swiss Re and Mercuria representing important client segments.

More than 100 participants, mostly Chinese bankers, attended

As in any successful joint venture, both partners stand to benefit. China particularly seeks to draw on Swiss wealth management and asset management expertise, and to promote the RMB as a currency of choice in commodity trade finance in view of Switzerland’s leading position in international commodity trade.

Despite recent market turbulences in China, Chinese speakers underlined their continued commitment to RMB internationalization and market reforms, and the resolve to further opening financial markets to international financial institutions. Switzerland in turn with its strong export industry will benefit from the wider availability, easier use and diversification play of the RMB in trade and investments, hence enhancing both commercial and investment business opportunities of Swiss banks.