SwissBanking
The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
April 02, 2020

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Dear Readers

Dear Readers

A microscopic form of life is presenting our society with one of the greatest challenges of its time, giving rise to sorrow and resulting in illness for people in many places.
Herbert J. Scheidt
by Herbert J. Scheidt, Chairman

In addition to the great suffering that coronavirus causes to those affected and their relatives, the survival of many companies is directly under threat as a result of weeks of closure, and many jobs are at risk. Within a very short time, protective measures against the virus have paralysed almost the entire economy. This issue of insight focuses on the current situation, and with good reason.

In response to this crisis, various banks have taken the initiative and, together with the federal government and the Swiss Bankers Association, have developed a guarantee programme with bridging loans amounting to CHF 20 billion for those companies that have run into financial difficulties due to the corona situation. The programme of the Federal Council and the banks ensures that the SMEs concerned – i.e. sole proprietorships, partnerships or legal entities – can access the guaranteed loans quickly and easily. This programme is a major achievement for all those involved and will benefit Swiss companies and therefore the entire country.

If there is one thing that has become very clear to us in this crisis, in which direct human contact is largely restricted, it is among other things the incredible importance of digital interconnection. The flow of information via the media, work done from home offices, e-commerce, remote education, social interactions, the exchange of scientific data and even mobile phone monitoring of infected persons: all of these things would be unthinkable without digitalisation. Several articles in this issue of insight address this topic: in addition to Switzerland’s data strategy, we examine the opportunities provided by an electronic identity, for example, but also the risks posed by cybercrime.

Another aspect of the corona pandemic is its impact on our environment due to the fact that mobility is currently largely at a standstill. Nitrogen dioxide levels in China, New York and Milan have drastically decreased during the quarantine. Even after corona, we will continue to focus on providing long-term support for climate and sustainability goals. In order to make progress in these areas, uniform terminology is required. In this issue, you can read about why a classification of the conditions under which an economic activity can be considered environmentally sustainable should help investors in their investment decisions.

Dear Readers, we do not know how long the current state of emergency will last. It is therefore all the more important now to take all the necessary and possible measures so that life can return to normal as soon as possible and even greater damage to our economy can be averted. Because one thing is certain: this crisis will also come to an end.

I wish you an enjoyable read.

Herbert J. Scheidt

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The SBA reserves the right not to publish comments. This applies in particular to comments that are offensive, irrelevant or do not address the topic. It also applies to comments written in dialect or a foreign language (except for French, English and Italian). Comments posted under pseudonyms or obviously false will also not be published. Comments are moderated.